New Delhi, Dec 10: Activists, lawyers and former police officers Wednesday welcomed the central government's decision to decriminalise attempt to suicide.
Senior advocate of Supreme Court and founder director of Human Rights Law Network Colin Gonsalvis said the decision of the government "was excellent".
"There is no point in punishing the person who is already in depression and has no hope of life. It is a cruel clause," Gonsalvis told IANS.
Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, said: "It is a good move. A person who attempts suicide is not a criminal but is suffering from psychological or mental sickness which can be rectified."
"We should be sensitive and responsible towards such situations so that timely preventive steps are taken," Kumari said.
Activist and lawyer Vrinda Grover supported the decision but said it should have been taken long back.
She said there was no point in making a case against a person who is already in too much of despair. "This step should have been taken long ago," she said.
Former Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi told IANS: "It's good that the government is removing offence of 'attempt to commit suicide' from the Indian Penal Code. Such a person needs healing not arrest, or punishment."
She said non-government organisations can counsel a person who resorts to such extreme step.
Former Delhi Police commissioner Y.S. Dadwal also welcomed the decision of the government.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday that the government had decided to delete Section 309 of IPC from the statute book based on recommendations of the Law Commission and consultations with states.
He also said there were 134,799 cases of suicide in India in 2013.