States want to teach failed suicide bombers a lesson

They also want to punish those who sit on 'fast unto death'

States want to teach failed suicide bombers a lesson

Bihar wants attempted suicide to remain a crime because it wants to punish "failed" suicide bombers, while Madhya Pradesh wishes to use the provision to teach "anti-social" elements, who sit on fast unto death, a lesson.

These are among the bizarre reasons put forward by some states recently to the Central government to oppose repealing of Section 309 of IPC that provides for punishment.
After 22 states and Union Territories supported deletion of the provision, the Union Home Ministry took a decision to repeal the provision. In documents provided by the Ministry, Bihar has argued that Section 309 should "not be omitted".

"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 of wiping out evidence," the state said.

Incidentally, there are sufficient laws to deal with such situations. Experts point out that even if there were no such provisions, it would not hamper the case against a terrorist.
Bihar contended that there should be a separate legislation to help persons suffering from mental illness or other ailments, which make them try to take their lives.

Madhya Pradesh contended, "Since there is no minimum punishment prescribed under the Section, courts can take proper care of mental status and circumstances before considering award of punishment. It is gathered from experience that out of a 100 cases, only five are sent behind bars."

The state also appeared to paint protesters threatening to "sit on fast until death or self-immolation" as "anti-social elements". If the Section is deleted, Madhya Pradesh feared, there is no provision for the police to book these persons.

Sikkim felt that repeal of the Section might "create problems" for the state where suicide is being attempted by a "public person in pursuance of a professed public cause". Deletion of the provision might further weaken law enforcement, it said as the state can, at present, use it to prevent serious breakdown of law and order.

While agreeing with the proposal, Delhi suggested that provisions should be made to report attempted suicide to authorised officer or hospital, besides making available compulsory medical treatment in special medical institutes.

It also wanted specific statutory provisions preventing attempted suicides in public view. “Proper statutory provision should also be made for punishment of abettor of attempted suicide," it said.

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