Some years ago, I had argued a SLP before a Bench presided by Hon’ble Justice Y.K.Sabhrawal (as he was then in Court No.2)
A man in Gujarat had committed suicide and had left a note that several superior officers were harassing him and were obstructing his promotion. Police had registered FIR against all these officers but High Court had quashed this FIR.
I had now brief to argue in Supreme Court and to show that the High Court Order was wrong. I cited some foreign Court judgements where on basis of a confession contained in a suicide note, another convict was acquitted as innocent. I argued that suicide note is a piece of evidence.
The Supreme Court however rejected my submissions. …
And it took me …several… years to understand why my arguments were rejected by Supreme Court!!!
Today I understand the following reasons on basis of a study of psychology of people who commit suicide.
1) The person committing suicide has often a desire to take revenge on someone. He does this by naming him or her in suicide note.
2) Such person has recently suffered some loss which he is unable to come to terms with. A phase of depression and sleepless nights precedes before suicide.
3) For lack of sleep and for lack of food, his cognitive faculty suffers. He starts thinking in exaggeration. Small and normal things are seen as very very big thing to his mind. This leads him to suicide.
4) While writing his Suicide Note, he feels that his image is glorifying. He begins to feel that he will be looked upon as hero when contents of his suicide note will be revealed to public. He is writing Suicide Note In an elated emotional state of mind.
5) He is conscious while writing Suicide Note that he need not give any evidence or proof of what he is saying, and no one will cross examine him, no one will know if he tweaks truth here and there in order to justify his act or to glorify his act of suicide.
6) Thus contents of Suicide Note are not “Facts within knowledge of person making document” as per Evidence Act. Here, knowledge means knowing with any of five senses.
It does not include what a person “imagines” or “Deduces” or thinks”.
I think these are the main reasons why Courts are not relying on suicide notes.
Haresh Raichura 23/2/2017