Attempt to suicide should not be a crime, recommends panel

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

“The Law Commission of India, in its 210th Report, had recommended that Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of IPC needs to be effaced from the statute book,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

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“As law and order is the state subject, views of states/UTs were requested on the recommendations of the Law Commission,” the minister said.

As many as “18 states and four Union Territory Administrations have supported that Section 309 of IPC may be deleted”, the minister said.

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.

Bihar, instead, said that the section should be modified. There should be a separate legislation in case of people who are suffering from such types of disease which makes them attempt to take their life.

Madhya Pradesh said deleting Section 309 will also dilute Section 306 (abetment of suicide).

Sikkim said repeal of the section may create problems for the state where suicide is being attempted by a public person 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 attempt to commit suicide to authorised officer or authorised hospital and compulsory medical treatment in special medical institutes should be made available.