Govt to decriminalise attempt to commit suicide

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New Delhi, Sept 22: The government might, in a year or so, amend a law to decriminalise the attempt to commit suicide. The central govt indicted so to the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, Sept 22.

The govt indicted so after a 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.

According to the sources of the home and law ministry, 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. Out of 29 state governments approached, 25 have agreed to the proposal.

"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.

It is only State Governments like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim, which are not in agreement with the proposal, while J&K has responded that the IPC is not applicable to them.

Singh also added, "A view has already been taken to consider recommendation of the Law Commission for deletion of 309 IPC during the next batch of comprehensive amendment to the IPC."

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