Government Kills Sec 309, Suicide Attempt No Longer a Crime

Move based on Law Commission recommendation; some states caution against bid to end life in public view; no bar on force-feeding protestors on ‘fast unto death’, claims official

Published: 11th December 2014 05:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2014 07:55 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: An attempt to commit suicide will no longer be an offence as the Union Home Ministry has decided to delete Section 309 of IPC from the statute book.

The government move was supported by 18 states, including Tamil Nadu, and four Union Territories. However, states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Sikkim and Delhi advised caution arguing that some measures could be taken to deal with a person trying to commit suicide in public view.

RIGHT TO DIE GRANTED.JPGHaribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, MoS Home Affairs, on Wednesday told Parliament that keeping in view the response from the states and UTs, it has been decided to delete section 309 IPC from the statute book.

As per IPC 309, if a person survives an attempted suicide, he or she can be prosecuted under the law and can be sentenced for one year imprisonment, or fine, or both.

Also Read:


Speaking on protestors trying to kill themselves, a senior Home Ministry official said the objective of a protestor is not to attempt suicide but to persuade and pressure the state for redressal of grievances. He further said the act of self-immolation, depending on its nature, could still be booked.

“Even force-feeding can still be done by authorities if they fear the person on fast may die, but he or she will not be booked under criminal provision. If we look at it objectively, the purpose of protest,  for example by Irom Sharmila or G D Agarwal, is not to die but to persuade the government for some purpose, but they were booked under this provision. It is this correction that was needed,” the official said, adding that to protest is a democratic right and can’t be clubbed under an offence and as far as Sati incidents are concerned, it is dealt with under a separate law.

The Law Commission had first recommended scrapping of Section 309 in 1971. In 1978, a bill was passed by the government in Rajya Sabha but it lapsed due to dissolution of Lok Sabha in 1979.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp