Is Government Encouraging Suicide By Scrapping Section 309?

Decriminalising attempt to Suicide – Not being insensitive towards the plight of the mental trauma faced by people who commit suicide but this decision can actually lead to severe situations that would be difficult to tackle.

While most people in the media seems to be welcoming this there are certain grave issues decriminalizing ‘attempt to suicide’ can lead to.

Not being insensitive towards the plight of the mental trauma faced by people who commit suicide but this decision can actually lead to severe situations that would be difficult to tackle.

Let me give a simple example here.

January 3, 2014: There were reports that Delhi Police registering cases against those committing suicide at stations.

As per reports then, the Delhi and NCR had witnessed around 100 suicide attempts at different metro stations out of which 30 people died.

Suicide at that time was a punishable offence. Hence the Delhi police decided to curb this suicidal act by this move. They wanted to create awareness amongst people against committing suicides.

They said, they didn’t really intend to increase the trauma of the people attempting suicides but this move was taken to stop people trying to end their lives.

If there is a fear amongst masses then they would think twice before committing an act. Now this move came to actually save lives by enforcing a stringent law.

Oh yes lives were actually saved…read further

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had formed ‘suicide watch’ teams who controlled people jumping in front of moving trains.

The team had saved at least 12 people from committing suicide.

As per Section 309 of the Indian Penel Code whoever attempts to commit suicide would be punished either with imprisonment that may last even a year or fine or both.

So everyone who is actually sympathizing with the people committing this grave act of taking their lives can consider this option also. If the Govt. suggests that these people need psychiatric help and not punishment then can’t the help be provided in jails?

Decriminalizing this can lead to even increased number of blackmail cases.

Hypothetical situation of a couple where either of the partners has suicidal tendency:

There is a great possibility that the suicidal person would constantly put his/ her partner under the emotional stress and threaten to end his/ her life. Just imagine the plight of the other person.

Blackmailing can even take to some dangerous course if the person knows he/ she has the license to kill him/ herself. Yes I am saying this bluntly that removing this decision is in a way giving them a license. Wait before all the word policing happens let me explain why I am calling it as giving a license.

Obviously no body in the stable state of mind commits something of this stature. So do you really think the person would take this decision rationally? No they would obviously take it as a license they know they can get away with.

There is no denying that they need help but if there is a fear of a stringent law then might be suicide attempts would be reduced. There is nothing wrong in keeping a strict law in place that can act against the irrational decisions.

As per reports, in India every 4 minutes a person takes his life then imagine the count of people committing suicide if it is legal.  

Yes certain conditions are different and can be considered special conditions. Just a blanket decision is only going to worsen the matter.

Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Sikkim had expressed reservations against this decision.

Bihar wanted a distinction to the people committing suicides to the suicide bombers whose attempts fail. The home ministry officials however stated that the terrorist bombers would face charges under ‘Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.’

With respect to suicide cases there is an immediate sympathy attached and people who strictly speak against it are considered insensitive.

That is not really true. Let us try and look at the bigger picture. Before taking a big decision of decriminalizing suicide attempts let us first create proper awareness about the consequences of this act.

The Govt. needs to first take enough measures to keep ‘suicide watch’ teams in place who would make adequate awareness drives against suicides.

Problems can be anything for anyone. It might be a rape victim who wants to commit suicide or it might be a 10th standard kid who wants to end life because of study pressures.

Causes of suicide attempts may vary but no situation demands an innocent life even if it is an act of self-destruction.

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