May 4, 2024

The depths of despair that cause individuals to think about and, nevertheless, attempt suicide are awful realities that numerous individuals find impossible to face in the hushed darkness of society’s bustling veneer. It’s an issue that is often shrouded in stigma, ignorance, and silence. However, it needs our attention, compassion, as well as response.

attempting suicide is not an isolated phenomenon; on the other hand, it is an increasingly prevalent issue that impacts individuals of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses. 

Attempting Suicide

  • Suicide is the deliberate act of terminating one’s own life. The Indian Penal Code does not include suicide as a crime.
  • The Indian Penal Code penalizes those Attempting Suicide but are unsuccessful.
  • This means that section 309 ipc will only be applicable if someone attempts suicide but is unsuccessful for whatever reason.
  • According to this section, the State has an obligation to preserve human life because it is important to them. It is the state’s responsibility to safeguard them and keep them from passing away.

section 309 ipc     

  • As per the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 309, an individual who attempts suicide or undertakes any activity that may result in the commission of the same offense may be sentenced to simple imprisonment for a maximum duration of one year, a fine, or both.
  • The legislature obviously intended for this provision to imply that an individual who attempts suicide but is unsuccessful may be subject to simple imprisonment for a maximum of one year, a fine, or both.

attempt to suicide ipc: Essential Ingredients

  • Suicide Intent: The accused must have intended to take their own life. Planning or thinking about committing this heinous act of suicide on its own is insufficient.
  • Suicide Attempt: The accused must have made some strides in the direction of ending their life, such as eating poison or jumping off a building, among other things.
  • The Act have Killed Anyone: The crime under Section 309 ipc is not applicable if the accused’s suicide act caused their death.
  • Mental Status of the Accused: When assessing whether an accused person is guilty or innocent, their mental state is taken into account. The accused may not be held accountable for the offense if, at the time of the offense, they were mentally ill or of unsound mind.

section 309 ipc punishment

  • According to Indian Penal Code, the offence of Attempting Suicide has a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a fine, or both.
  • Because it is a bailable offense, the accused may request bail and be freed from custody while the case is pending.
  • It is crucial to remember that the penalty under IPC 309 is intended to be rehabilitative rather than punitive. The main goal is to give the accused the medical and psychological support they require in order to keep them from making another attempt at suicide.
  • Counselling and therapy may also be provided in addition to the sentence to assist the accused in resolving the underlying problems that contributed to the suicide attempt.

attempt to commit suicide: Case Rulings

  • In the case of Chenna Jagadeeswar v State of Andhra Pradesh, section 309’s constitutionality was contested on the grounds that it violated Articles 14 and 21. Since the aforementioned section did not contradict any of these articles, it was decided that it was not unconstitutional.
  • In the case of P Rathnam v Union of India, it declared Section 309 to be invalid and unlawful because it contravenes Article 21. The court further noted that the provision is inhumane and harsh because it punishes an individual who has already experienced suffering and attempted suicide as a result.
  • In the case of Smt. Gian Kaur v State of Punjab, the Supreme Court ruled that although suicide is an unnatural end to life, the right to life is a natural right, and thus the two are incompatible. Article 21 should only contain provisions that uphold and enhance life with dignity, not those that eradicate it. Thus, the court-maintained Section 309’s constitutionality.
  • In the case of Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v Union of India & Ors, it upheld the legality of assisted suicide, or passive euthanasia, which involves taking away or stopping a terminally sick patient’s life support. Therefore, in India, the right to life does not include the right to die; rather, it guarantees the “right to die with dignity,” which can only be achieved through passive euthanasia under specific conditions approved by the Supreme Court.

Suicide is an extended answer to a temporary problem. Everyone wants to live a life devoid of problems, but life is full of surprises and mysteries that we never anticipate. When someone experiences a catastrophe, he may not analyze the circumstances and environment, which prevents him from seeing other options for solving the problem and ultimately drives him to take his own life. Suicide is never a good idea, and even if it were, it would never be promoted or wanted.

Attempting Suicide FAQs      

  1. What is the constitutional validity of attempt to commit suicide?

The “right to die” is not included in the constitution, even though it does protect the right to life or liberty. The right to life guaranteed by the constitution is not thought to extend to attempts at suicide.

Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code defines the offence as follows: (i) abetment; (ii) the accused’s purpose to help, incite, or assist the deceased in committing suicide. However, the accused’s act of disparaging the deceased by using derogatory words won’t prove that they assisted in the suicide.

  • What is presumption of suicide?

Section 113A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (IEA), which was added by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983, addresses the assumption that a married lady committed suicide. This clause reflects public concern over the growing threat of crimes against married women in legislation.

  • What is the exception to 309 IPC?

Until proven otherwise, anyone who attempts suicide is assumed to be suffering from severe stress and will not be prosecuted or punished in accordance with Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Is Section 309 constitutional or unconstitutional?

The right to life under Article 21 includes the right to die, just as the right to freedom of speech within Article 19 grants the right to speak but also the right to remain silent. This is how the Supreme Court compared the other fundamental rights. Thus, it was decided that Section 309 was unlawful.

  • Was Section 309 struck down?

The Court invalidated Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, citing the provision’s ultra vires the Constitution and violation of the Articles.

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