Published: 15th August 2020
Learning new words and phrases: What do phrases and words like 'abetment to suicide', 'allege' mean?
‘Abetment’ is a legal term. The word ‘abet’ means to encourage someone to do something wrong or undesirable or to assist someone to commit a crime
John: Hi. What’s new?
Mary: Hi. Just read a news report about late actor Sushant Singh’s death case. It’s like a thriller.
John: I know you’re obsessed with Sushant Singh. By the way, are there any twists and turns in the case?
Mary: Twists and turns?
John: Unexpected, surprising or shocking changes in a plot are called twists and turns. I like movies that have many twists and turns. Let’s discuss the twists and turns in Sushant’s case.
Mary: First, we were told that Sushant was found hanged in his bedroom. Now, Sushant’s father and sister say that he didn’t commit suicide but was murdered.
John: They wouldn’t have said it categorically but must have alleged that it is a murder. Did you read the report carefully? The report must have contained the term ‘allegedly’.
Mary: Yes, I remember having come across the word in the report. By the way, what does the word ‘allegedly’ mean?
John: News reporters and editors use the word ‘allege’ or ‘allegedly’ to convey that something is claimed to have taken place but there is no proof for it.
Mary: I don’t get you. Can you please explain it with an example?
John: Whenever something is stated but has not been proved then the words ‘allege’ and ‘allegedly’ are used. Lemme give a couple of examples. The lawyer arguing for the government of Bihar alleges that the Maharashtra police have not cooperated with the Bihar police in the Sushant Singh death case. It is only an allegation but it hasn’t been proved to be true. Here is my second example: The General Manager of the company has allegedly swindled lakhs of rupees.
Mary: Now it is clear and I remember having come across the sentence: “Sushant Singh’s partner Rhea Chakraborty is alleged to have made him bankrupt…”
John: Sounds interesting. Was she Sushant’s partner or alleged partner? What else?
Mary: It is also reported that Sushant’s father has filed an abetment to suicide case against Rhea. What does ‘abetment to suicide’ mean?
John: It is quite shocking to know that Rhea has been accused of ‘abetment to suicide’. ‘Abetment’ is a legal term. The word ‘abet’ means to encourage someone to do something wrong or undesirable or to assist someone to commit a crime.
Mary: Is ‘abetment to suicide’ an offence?
John: Lemme check….. Yes, it is stated that “If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”. Poor Rhea…
Mary: John, do you feel pity for Rhea Chakraborty?
John: Yes. But I’m not sure whether she is innocent or guilty. It is possible she has been made a scapegoat. I don’t know whether it is right to blame her. I feel pity for you as well as you’re much worried about the Sushant case. By the way, how has she reacted to all the allegations levelled against her?
Mary: She has denied all the allegations. She says that Sushant’s case is being blown out of proportion and she has been made a scapegoat. I want justice to be done to Sushant.
John: Justice must be done to Rhea too. Let the truth come out. I am reminded of this quote: “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.”