Indian Government Decriminalizes Section 309 | Fusion - WeRIndia

Indian Government Decriminalizes Section 309

IPC 309

Government of India has decided to decriminalize attempt to commit suicide by removing Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. As per Section 309, attempt to suicide is a punishable crime with imprisonment up to one year or fine, or both.

The decision of central government is supported by 18 states and 4 union territories. Many activists also welcomed it. Yet, states such as Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim argued that decriminalizing attempt to suicide would make it difficult to deal with persons who resort to fast unto death. These states feared that the incidence of indefinite hunger strikes might be on a rise to pressurize the government for their legitimate demands and law enforcing authorities can no longer have a chance to arrest them or book a case under this Section as they did earlier.

Bihar government wants to differentiate the persons who attempt to commit suicide due to their illness and psychological problems and suicide bombers. It stated that the people who attempt to commit suicide due to illness should be covered by a separate statute. Punjab state government claimed though it does not oppose the decriminalization of Section 309, it would come forward to rehabilitate people those who attempt to commit suicide due to their sickness, unemployment, old age and any distressed conditions by providing medical or psychiatric care.

The suicide rate is increasing among youth in modern India especially in the regions where literacy and income is high. In the situations, some feared that the deletion of Section 309 may trigger more attempts of suicide without any fear of law. However, rather than punishing the distressed, mandatory counseling and care to the victims are essential to control the incidence of suicide rate in India.

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