Suicide In india – section 309 IPC

Suicide In india – section 309 IPC –  This article discusses the concept of Suicide in the Indian legal context. This article is written by Shubhi jaiswar, a 1st year law student from Pandit purnanand Tiwari law college Haridwar.

Introduction –   Suicide, from Latin suicidium, is “the act of taking one’s own
life”. Attempted suicide or non-fatal suicidal behavior is self-injury with at least some desire to end one’s life that does not result in death.  The last limit of a person’s struggle or his or her struggle to bear it is where he / she loses themselves. He feels that his struggle will not end. I feel I am weak and inferior when I am unable to live up to the expectations of everyone, when my work river is not provided opportunities. Upon reaching this state, man starts to regret his life. At this stage of life, I want to finish myself. The man who is depressed, desperate, wants his own death, we call it suicide.

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Mental disorders,
including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety
disorders, and substance abuse—including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines— are risk factors. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, relationship problems such as breakups, or bullying. Those who have previously attempted suicide are at a higher risk for future attempts. Effective suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide—such as firearms, drugs, and poisons; treating mental disorders and substance misuse; careful media reporting about suicide; and improving economic conditions.

Why?- Reasons for Suicide

  • Depression and mental illness 
  • Trauma
  • Substance abuse 
  • Loss
  • Hopelessness

Depression and Mental Illnesses
While there are many factors which can influence a person’s decision to commit suicide, the most common one is that the person has severe depression.1
Depression can make people feel great emotional pain and loss of hope, making them unable to see another way to relieve the pain other than ending their own life.


Suicide prevention is a collection of efforts to reduce the risk of suicide. These efforts may occur at the individual, relationship, community, and society level. Suicide is often preventable.Beyond direct interventions to stop an impending suicide, methods may include:

  • treating mental illness
  • improving coping strategies of people who are at risk reducing risk factors for suicide, such as poverty
  • General efforts include measures within the realms of medicine, mental health, and public health. Because protective factors such as social support and social engagement—as well as environmental risk factors such as access to lethal means— play a role in suicide, 
  • suicide is not solely a medical or mental-health issue.

In india it is a crime under section 309 IPC

Section 309 IPC. Attempt to commit suicide: Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code was set to be limited in effect by the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013. The Mental Health Care Bill was introduced to the Rajya Sabha on 19 August 2013 and provides, in article 124, that “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness at the time of attempting suicide and shall not be liable to punishment under the said section.” It also provides that the Government shall have the duty to provide medical care to any such person attempting suicide. The Bill, therefore, does not repeal Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, but merely provides the presumption of mental illness.

The bill was referred by the Rajya Sabha to a Standing Committee on 18 September 2013, which submitted a report on 20 November 2013. In its report, the Standing Committee had three concerns on this provision: firstly, that the presumption of mental illness would subject persons to ‘mental health treatment’, secondly, concerns about the consequences on Section 306 of the Penal Code, which concerns abetment to suicide, and thirdly,
concerns regarding the “institutionalization in silencing victims of domestic violence.” In response, the Ministry proposed amendments which would change the language of this provision to one concerning the “presumption of severe stress in case of attempt to commit suicide”. The Committee accepted this recommendation  noting that there was
still ambiguity regarding the stage at which this presumption would operate.

In response to a question by Vivek Gupta in the Rajya Sabha on decriminalization of
suicide on 10 December 2014, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai
Chaudhary replied that “it has been decided to delete Section 309 of IPC from the Statute book.” However, pending the passage of the Mental Health Care Bill 2013, Section 309 of
the Indian Penal Code was yet to be limited or repealed.

On 24 February 2015, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Haribhai
Parathibhai Chaudhary, said that a proposal to delete Section 309 from the Indian Penal Code had been sent to the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice for drawing up a draft Amendment Bill.


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