Suicide note – a crucial evidence for conviction

Authors: Moksha Kalyanram Abhiramula, Valluri Sowmya

Suicide note

A suicide note or death note is a message written by someone in the form of a letter or giving message by using electronic media such as what’s app, voice recordings, videos or any other means left behind by a person who commits suicide.

The action of committing suicide is also on account of mental disturbance caused by mental and physical cruelty.  

Punishments for attempt to suicide or abatement of suicide u/s 306 of IPC

  • Imprisonment upto 10 years; or
  • Fine; or
  • Both

Abetment of Suicide of a Person

The Person on whose influence suicide was committed would be liable for punishment under section 306 of Indian Penal Code.

In other words, the person/victim on instigation/influenced by someone commits Suicide then the person/accused causing the instigation/influence is liable for punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extent for a period of 10 years or liable to fine.

Relevant contents/recitals in suicide note

In general suicide note includes:

  1. about 80% includes apology/shame/ guilt /Physical/Mental agony
  2. 55% includes the love for those left behind
  3. 23% includes instructions regarding practical affairs
  4. 50% includes most have blamed none for the act
  5. 23% mentioned that are committing suicide to prove their offence.

Need of circumstantial evidence

The legislative intent is to curb the menace of dowry deaths, etc., with a firm hand. These crimes are generally committed in the privacy of residential homes and in secrecy, independent and direct evidence is not easy to get, Circumstantial evidences can be acquired within 24 hrs from the time of crime occurred or any device available at that act of suicide or any other person eye witness or any other electronic media.

To get the information legislature has introduced sections 113A and 113 B in the Evidence Act to strengthen the prosecution.

S.S. Chheena Vs. Vijay Kumar Mahajan & Another (2010) 12 SCC 190

Vikas Mehta Vs. State Govt of NCT Delhi (2017) 2 DMC 605


Offence under Sections 306 is cognizable and warrant should ordinarily issue in the first instance. These cases would be tried in Court of Session having territorial jurisdiction.