Suicide note is a document, not a mere goodbye or a mode of remembering, but one which has the potential to give access to the person’s inner thoughts and feelings even after they are long gone. From people who want their story to be told, often the person lives behind mentioning different people who might have affected their lives. Though the reasons can never be brought into a particular set but it can bring two sorts of people into the picture. One in a positive light and the other completely opposite. Most of the lost hopes varies from reacting to the feeling of burden on the relatives or close ones to giving up on repetitive trauma from a set of people or any one person specifically. Both the scenarios, however, bring in questions. The controversies regarding discourse on suicides in India is huge. The judicial system scrutinizes the action and grasps every loophole that could have had led the suicide. As suppose, could have abetted the suicide.
Abetment to suicide is a crime. Not namesake but one of the legal provisions as well. Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes the offence. A person is considered guilty of abetment upon three instances. If he instigates the person, if he has been a part of the conspiracy behind it or if he has intentionally helped the victim to commit the act. And importantly, direct evidence is required against the accused to show the alleged crime. It definitely looks a two-way pavement until here but what lies beneath the surface are the eyes of the world around the suspect. The one in the middle of a mere mentioned name and a criminal- the one in middle of the trial.
A name mentioned in a suicide note includes the person as an accused under a non bailable offence where the person receives a summon or notice from the local police station. The investigation goes on and a charge sheet gets filed against the mentioned name. Post all of these, a trial stands before the court. This is a tedious and defaming process for any prudent person. And thus, gets abused more often than not. The process gets tamed every hour in India when a person uses different phrases as to ‘cut nerves’, ‘kill themselves’, ‘the police will take you’, ‘it will be your fault’, ‘you will be guilty forever’, in order to get something to which the other silently agrees because what lies on the other hand is unknown.
However, one does not need to worry about the process at any point of time if they are not guilty. Truth has prevailed for the entire history of manhood and if put forth in the investigation process shall as well help gain way out from the difficult times as such.
It is important to notice that most threats usually come to partners who look to end a relationship to which the co-partner cannot come to terms with. There stands no-win situation in a case like this. The level of uncertainty is huge and the loss could be unbearable.
The thin line between the law for actual abetment to the abuse of the law is not foreseeable. A person at the edge for the same should not misjudge the actual cry for help to the attention seekers. However, for a person who knew about the suicide and decided to not help the cause or did not make attempts to stop or discontinued the cause could become more than just regretful. They are probable criminals in the eyes of law.
It is true that once the threat turns the other way, there’s no turning back. However, one should always keep a few points in mind. First of all, a compassionate behavior with a person who we are no longer in terms with can go a long way. Next, professional advice should always be taken. One as it could save the person in question and also give you the green card of innocence even if mentioned in the note for any cause. It also gets very important to understand the habitual offenders and to take them seriously. The ridiculing of it being an everyday affair is not a healthy mentality. The repeated threats often bring in personal derangement which increases the risks. While one might consider obliging to all the demands put forward during such a crisis, it gets very important to involve very close and dear ones and let them to know about the threat.
The above-mentioned points are not just mere suggestions but also points out as “duty” in the law. The principle is evidentially prevalent in both civil and criminal matters. However, duty differs in different cases. From the perspective of duty in threatened suicide, if a help is promised in the form of care or companionship, it gets binding since there is an established duty of care. But the duty of care also depends on the type of relationship with the person at stake.
Summing up, the best way to get out of a situation is truth and actions which would leave no room for regret in the future. It is worth keeping in mind that, ‘to save another life, you must safeguard yours first’.