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Abetment to Suicide

Author: Ravi Prakash Singh, Student, Amity Law School, Delhi, India

Abstract

The number of people who ended their lives by committing suicide (self-annihilation) has been increasing in recent years. In India, 131,666 people in 2014; 133,623 people in 2015; and 230,314 people in 2016 committed suicide. Suicide is a peculiar crime where both the accused and victim is the same person. Attempt to suicide was punishable under section 309 of IPC. Recently the Parliament by passing the Mental Healthcare Act (7th April 2017) has effectively decriminalized attempted suicide. Therefore, despite S.309 being not removed from IPC, technically it does not affect. Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the offence of abetment to suicide. Abetment of an attempt to commit suicide is outside the scope of section 306 Indian Penal Code and it is punishable under section 309 read with section 107 of the Indian Penal Code. In many criminal law jurisdictions, the attempt to commit suicide is not a penal offence yet the abettor is made punishable. Those provisions provide for the punishment of abetment of suicide as well as abetment of an attempt to commit suicide. Thus even in those jurisdictions where the punishment for attempt to commit suicide is not considered desirable, its abetment is made a penal offence. In other words assisted attempt to commit suicide or assisted suicide is made punishable in the interest of society. This provision is very much required to prevent the danger inherent in the absence of such a penal provision. This paper aims to analyze the Indian laws on the abetment of suicide and the judgments given by the Supreme Court of India concerning different cases.

Keywords: Suicide, Abetment, Sec 306 IPC.

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