A suicide attempt will no longer be a crime in India. The government on Wednesday decided to decriminalise Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code that punishes an attempt to commit suicide with jail term. The government's move came after support from 18 states and 4 Union Territories, according to TV reports.
The Home Ministry, in a response to Parliament, said it has decided to scrap Section 309 and those attempting to commit suicide will not face police prosecution. A person can get jail term of up to one year under Section 309.
The 210th report of the Law Commission of India also recommended a repeal of Section 309 in its report 'Humanization and Decriminalisation of Attempt to Suicide' and suggested the IPC needs to be deleted from the statute book, Zee News reported.
The report quoted the commission as saying that “the provision is inhuman, irrespective of whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional.”
However, The Economic Times reported "states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi advised due caution before scrapping of the provision." Some states are cautious about the implication this will have on people who can now subvert the section with attempted suicide bombings and hold the government hostage by threatening to fast unto death.