Government decides to scrap Section 309 of IPC & Decriminalizes attempt to suicide

Government in the Parliament has announced that the attempt suicide will no longer be a crime. In this regard, government has decided to delete Section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) from the Statute book which deals with attempt of suicide as per recommendations of 210th Law Commission report. 18 states and four Union Territories also have backed government on this move.
It was announced by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Current Section 309 of IPC

  • A person who survives a suicide attempt is punished with a one-year jail term and a fine under a rule in the IPC.


Earlier in August 2014, the process of decriminalizing suicide was undertaken by government and all states were asked to give their opinion, as they have jurisdiction over it (as law and order is a state subject under Schedule VII of Constitution).
Even 210th Law Commission report had mentioned that attempting suicide is the “manifestation of a diseased condition of mind” that needs treatment and care rather than punishment.
In 2012, World Health Organization (WHO) has listed India as one of the countries with the highest suicide rates – 21.1 per 100,000 people.
Now as a result of this decision, an attempt to suicide will not be taken as a criminal offence.

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