India Looking To Decriminalize Suicide

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The government intends to amend the law to decriminalize attempt to commit suicide, and may effect the much needed reform in a year or so.

NEW DELHI – The government intends to amend the law to decriminalize attempt to commit suicide, and may effect the much needed reform in a year or so.

This was indicated to the Delhi high court on Wednesday by the Central government, in response to a PIL seeking removal of section 309 of the Indian Penal Code that punishes attempt to suicide with one-year simple imprisonment or fine or both.

“Stand-alone amendment to remove section 309 of IPC may not be possible. The government plans a comprehensive amendment in a year’s time to the IPC, the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and the Evidence Act that will include considering Law Commission’s recommendation to delete section 309,” Central government counsel Jatan Singh told a bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna.

Sources in the home and law ministry confirmed that decks have been cleared to propose removal of this section. Views were sought from the states as law and order is a subject on the concurrent list.