Attempting suicide not a criminal act anymore

Attempting suicide not a criminal act anymore

Attempting suicide will not attract any punishment with the Centre deciding to delete Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises the act.

The decision came following a recommendation of the Law Commission in its 210th report in 2008 titled “Humanisation and Decriminalisation of Attempt to Suicide”.

The report stated that jail term for attempting suicide is “inhuman, irrespective of whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional.”

Now, attempting suicide is punishable with a prison term of up to one year and fine. “Keeping in view the responses from the states/Union territories, it has been decided to delete Section 309 of the IPC from the statute book,” Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, Minister of State for Home Affairs, told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Following the report, the Centre sought the views of states as law and order was a state subject. Eighteen states and four Union territories supported the move, while Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim opposed it as they wanted to retain the provision to punish unsuccessful suicide bombers and those sitting on fast, among others.

In August, the Home Ministry informed the Lok Sabha that it is in the process of removing Section 309 as recommended by the Law Commission.

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