Law Commission Report

Topics: Suicide, Suicide Act 1961, Right to die Pages: 27 (9065 words) Published: August 27, 2013
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA

Humanization and Decriminalization of Attempt to Suicide

Report No. 210

OCTOBER 2008

LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA (REPORT NO. 210)

Humanization and Decriminalization of Attempt to Suicide

Forwarded to Dr. H. R. Bhardwaj, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India by Dr. Justice AR. Lakshmanan, Chairman, Law Commission of India, on the 17th day of October, 2008.

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The 18th Law Commission was constituted for a period of three years from 1st September, 2006 by Order No. A.45012/1/2006-Admn.III (LA) dated the 16th October, 2006, issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, New Delhi. The Law Commission consists of the Chairman, the Member-Secretary, one full-time Member and seven part-time Members. Chairman Hon’ble Dr. Justice AR. Lakshmanan Member-Secretary Dr. Brahm A. Agrawal Full-time Member Prof. Dr. Tahir Mahmood Part-time Members Dr. (Mrs.) Devinder Kumari Raheja Dr. K. N. Chandrasekharan Pillai Prof. (Mrs.) Lakshmi Jambholkar Smt. Kirti Singh Shri Justice I. Venkatanarayana Shri O.P. Sharma Dr. (Mrs.) Shyamlha Pappu

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The Law Commission is located in ILI Building, 2nd Floor, Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi-110 001 Law Commission Staff Member-Secretary Dr. Brahm A. Agrawal Research Staff Shri Sushil Kumar Ms. Pawan Sharma Shri J. T. Sulaxan Rao Shri A. K. Upadhyay Dr. V. K. Singh Administrative Staff Shri Sushil Kumar Shri D. Choudhury Shri S. K. Basu Smt. Rajni Sharma : Joint Secretary & Law Officer : Under Secretary : Section Officer : Assistant Library & Information Officer : Joint Secretary & Law Officer : Additional Law Officer : Additional Law Officer : Deputy Law Officer : Assistant Legal Adviser

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The text of this Report is available on the Internet at http://www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in

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Government of India Law Commission of India

The text in this document (excluding the Government Logo) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided that it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as the Government of India copyright and the title of the document specified.

Any enquiries relating to this Report should be addressed to the Member-Secretary and sent either by post to the Law Commission of India, 2nd Floor, ILI Building, Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi-110001, India or by email to lci-dla@nic.in

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DO No.6(3)141/2008-LC(LS) Dear Dr. Bhardwaj ji,

17 October, 2008

Sub: Humanization and Decriminalization of Attempt to Suicide. I have great pleasure in submitting herewith the 210th Report of the Law Commission of India on the above subject. In our country, attempt to suicide is an offence punishable under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 309 reads thus: 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.” Article 21 of the Constitution of India enjoins that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. A Division Bench of the Supreme Court in P. Rathinam v. Union of India (AIR 1994 SC 1844) held that the right to live of which Article 21 speaks of can be said to bring in its trail the right not to live a forced life, and therefore, section 309 violates Article 21. This decision was, however, subsequently overruled in Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (AIR 1996 SC 946) by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, holding that Article 21 cannot be construed to include within it the ‘right to die’ as a part of the fundamental right guaranteed therein, and therefore, it cannot be said that section 309 is violative of Article 21. The Law Commission had undertaken revision of the Indian Penal Code as part of its...
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