Until today, the act of attempted suicide was deemed as a criminal offense in the Indian Penal Code. A failed suicide attempt could have result in imprisonment and fines.
But, according to The Economic Times, as of Dec. 10, the attempt to commit suicide will no longer be a criminal offense, with the Home Ministry deciding to delete the provision from the statute book.
Eighteen states and 4 union territories reportedly support the deletion.
Several other states and territories – including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi – expressed their concern about removing the provision. According to ET, the Bihar government told the Ministry that the section should be retained in order to deter suicide bombers, and terrorists who consume cyanide pills in their attempts to withhold information.
The Delhi government made the case that although they believed the provision should be scrapped, there should be special circumstances available to prevent suicides in public by individuals attempting to force the government to meet their demands.
The Madhya Pradesh Government made a similar plea, citing cases of individuals who go on fasts and conduct self-immolation.
The government announced on Tuesday that deleting the provision was being considered. dna reported that Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State for Home, said in the Lok Sabha that the Law Commission of India in its 210 report on "Humanisation and Decriminalisation of Attempt to Suicide" has recommended that Section 309 of the IPC needs to be removed from the statute book, explaining that the provision is inhuman, irrespective of whether it is constitutional or not.