Karnataka High Court Rules: “Go Hang Yourself” Not Considered Incitement to Suicide in Priest’s Death Case

In a significant judgment, the Karnataka High Court stated that the phrase “go hang yourself” does not constitute an attempt to incite suicide. This ruling came in the context of a case involving the death of a church priest, where Justice M. Nagaprasanna clarified the complexities surrounding the intent behind such controversial statements.

The case stemmed from a heated argument between the petitioner and the priest, allegedly over the petitioner’s wife’s supposed relations with the priest. During the argument, in a state of anger and despair, the petitioner told the priest to “go hang yourself”. The defense argued that this statement alone did not lead the priest to take his own life.

The priest’s lawyer contended that the fear of his alleged extramarital affair becoming public, potentially ruining his reputation, was the real reason behind his drastic action, not merely the petitioner’s statement. The court also discussed the complexities of human psychology and the challenges in understanding the human mind in such scenarios.

After reviewing the standards set by the Supreme Court and previous rulings, the Karnataka High Court’s single-judge bench decided not to categorize the statement as one inciting suicide, highlighting the intricate nature of interpreting such situations.

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