Attempting suicide no longer a crime

After receiving the backing of 18 states and four union territories, Section 309 of IPC, which states that attempt to suicide is a punishable offence, will be scrapped from the statute book

The Law Commission of India has recommended that attempt to suicide must be decriminalised, the home ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Representation Pic/Thinkstock
Representation Pic/Thinkstock

Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, said, “In its 210th report, the Law Commission of India, had recommended that Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of Indian Penal Code needs to be effaced from the statute book.”

Chaudhary said since law and order is a state subject, views of all states and union territories were sought on the recommendations of the Law Commission. “18 states and four Union Territory Administrations have supported that Section 309 of IPC may be deleted,” he informed the house.

Among the states opposing the deletion, Bihar has said that the section should not be omitted, as these days there are suicide bombers who fail in their attempt to blow themselves up and other terrorists who consume cyanide pills with the intention to wipe out evidence.

Instead, the state said that the section should be modified. There should be a separate legislation in case of people who are suffering from such types of diseases, which pushes them to attempt to take their lives. Madhya Pradesh said deleting Section 309 would also dilute Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sikkim said repeal of the section might create problems for the state, where a public person is attempting suicide in pursuance of a professed public cause.

The Delhi government agreed with the recommendation of the Law Commission, but suggested that it should be made compulsory to report an attempt to commit suicide to an authorised officer or authorised hospital, and that compulsory medical treatment in special medical institutes should be made available.

Over 1,30,000 suicides in 2013

The number of suicides in India in 2013 an average of 369 a day.

Maharashtra recorded the highest number of suicides in 2013

The number of suicides recorded in Tamil Nadu

The number of suicides in Andhra Pradesh

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