Attempt to Suicide is defined as a non-fatal, self-directed, potentially
injurious behavior with an intent to finish one self’s life. The number of
people who attempt to commit suicide in India and lose their lives is more than
a lakh in number. According to a GBD study, an estimate of 2,30,314 deaths due
to suicide took place in India where the rates per 1,00,000 deaths were men of
some 21-23 age bracket and women of some 14-20 age bracket. The GBD report
reported cases which were more than 2,00,000 which contrasted to the reports
which were released by NCRB, stating the rate of suicides in 2015 as 1,33,623.
A lot of the researchers suggest that one of the major causes of suicides is
mental fatigue, stress and illness and most of the risk factors for attempted
suicides by people of all ages is believed to be depression and other
psychiatric causes. Other factors which constitute for attempt to suicide are
mental or physical abuse as a child, high abuse of drugs or alcohol, stress due
to work or stressful mental health environment etc.
Essentially, it is believed that the people who go ahead and make an attempt to
end their lives, such people ae in need of psychiatric attention instead of
What Do You Understand By Suicide?
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. The risk factors
which are a major cause of Suicides, as believed by most experts, are majorly
Psychological issues, such as: Anxiety disorders, Schizophrenia, Depression etc.
Suicides can be well-planned, but most suicides are impulsive decisions taken by
the respective person and put into action. Suicides are commonly done by hanging
oneself, poisoning and also includes usage of firearms.
About 1.5% of people commit suicide per year. This is about 12 per 100,000
people. Suicide is most commonly found in people over the age of 70; However, in
some countries, people between the ages of 15 and 30 are most at risk. In
2015, Europe had the highest suicide rate. An estimated 10 to 20 million
non-fatal attempts are made each year. Non-fatal suicide attempts can lead to
injury and lead to long-term disability. In the Western world, efforts are
more frequent among young people and women.
If we talk about people’s take on Suicide, it is frowned upon. This is the most
easy and simple terms that one can put it in. most of these opinions are
influenced by pride, religion that one follows and one’s opinion of Life.
People, in India, and any other country, believe that Committing Suicide is a
cowardly behaviour and hence, one should think a million times before ending
their life, just like that. In India, it is understood and believed by people
that people who don’t believe in God usually take steps as severe as these. The
‘shraddha’ is what makes one understand the meaning of life and respect the
sanctity of it.
Prevention of Suicide:
Suicide prevention is a term used to refer to collective efforts to reduce
suicide rates through preventive measures. Suicide defense includes access to
assistance and treatment. About 60% of people with suicidal thoughts do not
seek help. Reasons for not meeting this requirement include the need for less
and the desire to solve the problem on one's own. Despite these high rates,
there are many generally accepted treatments for suicidal behavior.
Methods of suicide prevention proposed in the 2003 monograph include:
- Avoiding Social Isolation
- Preventing Loss of Cultural Identity and Sanctity;
- Regular Psychological Check-ups;
- Proper regulation of Sales of Ropes and any other objects/chemicals
(such as poison and pesticides) which can help in committing suicide;
- Encourage psychology and promotion of meditation sessions as well as
State policies are being implemented to reduce the high suicide rate among
farmers in Karnataka.
Laws That Govern Attempt To Suicide In India
It is a well-known fact that society frowns upon the people who attempt to
commit suicide but fail in doing so. It is a no hidden fact that people who
commit suicide are looked at as aliens by he whole of society because they tried
to end their life, but there a very few people who gather up the courage and go
up to these people and ask them, Why?. I believe this is the where the society
lags. We, as a society, have always failed to provide for people who have been
going to some sort of mental health issues. It is now that we see people coming
up and telling people how they have been visiting a therapist to keep their
In a country such as India, were Democracy is the power and people’s rights are
the supremacy. In a country where the constitution provides its citizens the
Right to Life under Article 21, people who live with a mental illness, fear
psychiatric evaluation and stress. Because the society will frown upon them, and
if they attempt to commit suicide, the law will punish them for taking their own
Indian constitution is biased, it is no hidden fact as well. While it provides
its citizens with the Right to Life under article 21, it does not even
acknowledge something as Right to Die, hence making it abundantly clear that
Right to Life does not include Right to Die, therefore, an attempt to suicide is
not and can not be considered as living ones life as per the right to Life that
the constitution provides. Therefore, if any person tries to end his/her life,
they will be punished under the Law.
Up until 2017, a failed attempt to ending one’s life was treated as a crime and
the individual was punished under the said section.
People, however, have had contrary opinions regarding the issue of
criminalization of attempt to suicide. In technical terms, Attempt to Suicide
falls under the category of Offences affecting the Human Body. Crimes under
this category include, murder, culpable homicide etc. such gruesome crimes which
affect someone else’s body. These crimes are inferred on the basis of intention
and the circumstances. Even so, how vague does the law believe one’s intentions
of ending their life can be?
Punishing of people who tried ending their own life? It is the most gruesome
treatment for the offence, if we are to agree on the term ‘offence’ for the act.
This further invites another question which has been asked and brought up is the
manner and the treatment of such ‘offenders’. Where the court should be taking
into consideration their mental health and get such people psychiatrically
evaluated, they are being punished and asked to pay fines for the same. The
question of inappropriate treatment and people who attempt to suicide being
treated as offenders has been questioned as well.
In a landmark judgement of 1985, J. RA Jahagirdar stated four reasons for why
section 309 should be constituted as unconstitutional. These reasons were stated
as: unclear intention, temporary insanity, requirement of psychiatric care and
no one knows or can agree to ‘what constituted the suicide’. The Delhi High
Court, in the landmark judgment, said,
The continuance of Section 309 I.P.C. (criminalizing suicide) is
an anachronism unworthy of a human society like ours.
The law of criminalizing suicide was first formulated under the Britishers, in
India, in 1860. While the Britishers themselves de-criminalized the offence of
attempt to suicide, India continued to follow this archaic law.
In a judgement delivered by Justice BL Hansaria in 1994, he traced and
reiterated the trial as Persecution, wherein a woman, who was a rape victim,
was forced onto the stand, in front of the entire court, for the ‘offence’ of
Attempt to Suicide which was committed by the woman. A physically assaulted
woman, who went through the agony and pain and mental suffering which increased
to the extend where she tried to take her own life, the law brought her and
forced her on the stand to state the intentions of her act of ‘taking her life’
and then follow up with the punishment because, she wasn’t living her life in
the manner that is permitted to the citizens under Article 21 of the
Constitution of India.
Cases such as Maruti Shripati Dubal v. State of Maharashtra
Jagadeeswar v. State of Andhra Pradesh
, Motion v. Yogesh Sharma
 and many
such cases that have been brought in front of the High Courts of the Respective
states, have put the Bombay High Court, Delhi High Court and Andhra Pradesh High
Court in dilemma. These are some of cases which have actively questioned the
validity of section 309 and the same being violative of article 14 and article
However, one such landmark judgement which challenged the constitutional
validity of section 306 and whether section 309 of IPC was violative of article
14 and article 21 or not in Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab
. The prosecution
cited the landmark case of P. Rathinam v. UOI and also argued the Right to
Life should include Right to Die. However, the arguments and the petition
were completely struck down by the Supreme Court stating that there were no
valid grounds to for the same.
Section 306 of IPC punishes anyone who abets another person for committing
suicide and Section 305 of the Indian Penal Code punishes anyone for abetment of
suicide for a child.
De-Criminalization Of Attempted Suicides
The debate continues in favor of criminalization of suicide attempts, which have
been fought in modern political and sociocultural times.
One of the major arguments is that only God has the right to direct the end of a
person's life, and that when a person wants to end his life, it is a criminal
act inherent in religious conduct. is. Traditionally, suicide has been
criticized by religions around the world. Suicidal deaths are excluded from
regular funerals in some ethnic groups. In Hinduism, it is believed that suicide
death does not lead to salvation. In general, suicide is associated with the
shame of death, social stigma, and other consequences of the entire dynasty.
But at the same time, many religions admire the need for suicide in certain
circumstances or circumstances. Ancient Hindu theory of life has supported
several suicides, including punishment for sins, incurable illness, and
inability to fulfill religious obligations such as "sati" (jumping into the
bonfire of a husband who died on a bonfire). Culturally widow suicide).
Similarly, many Rajput women in India preferred death to post-war humiliation.
Jainism upheld (Sarkana) the practice of ending one's life by one's actions in
one case, and blamed it in another. The Buddhist view is unclear, but in some
cases, it encourages altruistic suicide.
The Mental Health Care Act, 2017
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health involves a complex
combination of physical, psychological, psychological and social factors:
enabling experience. Be creative and dynamic citizen. Mental health is very
different from general health. In some cases, intellectual disabled people
cannot make their own decisions. Mental illness lasts a lifetime, has lifelong
consequences and gradually reduces the quality of life. Family members seek
appropriate medical advice or treatment when trying to conceal their condition.
This embarrassing behavior not only harms the patient but also leads to
exploitation, abuse, neglect and alienation.
The Worldwide Stress on Illness Report shows that 13% of life-related
disabilities are mental illnesses. I have lived with a disability for many years
due to depression.
Mental illness accounts for more than half of the total burden on weaker age
groups such as young people and the elderly. Another report on expected mental
illness exposure shows India will grow faster than other countries. Over the
next decade, it will account for a third of the world's mental illness exposure,
more than the combined rates of all developed countries. Unfortunately,
despite this severe burden of mental health problems, this is not understood in
developing countries like India.
Another important aspect of addressing this health issue is our existing
infrastructure and workforce. In a country of 150 billion people, there are
about 40 psychiatric hospitals (only 9 of which are equipped to treat children)
and fewer than 26,000 beds. India has only three psychiatrists per million or
fewer, according to the WHO Mental Health Atlas. p is the federal standard for
psychologists. All 100,000 residents are doctors.
The Lok Sabha unanimously passed the Mental Health Act 2017, passed unanimously
on March 27, 2017, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016 and
approved by the Honorary President of India in April 2017. Under the new law,
"mental illness" is a significant condition of thinking, mood, impression,
direction, or memory, which highlights the mental state associated with the
determination or ability to meet the basic needs of life, alcohol and drug use
The Medical Act of 1987 has been widely criticized for denying the rights of
the mentally ill and paving the way for the exclusion of such sick patients. The
Act repealed the 309 Indian Penal Code for criminal offenses. Suicide of a
mentally handicapped person. Another feature of the law is the protection of the
rights of people with mental illness, thus making access to treatment and the
possibility of its occurrence easier. How he wants to treat his illness.
Rights of Persons with Mental Illness:
Everyone has the right to access mental health services. Such services should be
of high quality, convenient, affordable and affordable. The law reserves the
right to inhumanely treat such persons, to prevent access to free legal services
and their medical records, and to file a complaint in case of violation of prior
To give advance notice to the mentally ill person on how he wants to be
treated and to whom he is assigned. Doctors need to confirm this referral.
Mental Health Facilities All mental health professionals (clinical
psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists) and all mental health laboratories must be
registered with this facility.
register, inspect and register
all mental health facilities, development of quality and service standards for
such facilities, maintain a register of mental health professionals, train law
enforcement officers and mental health professionals on the provisions of the
law, receive complaints about defects of TOS, advise the government on mental
Prohibition of Electroconvulsive Therapy:
It denies attempted suicide for the mentally ill. The government is also obliged
to rehabilitate the person so that the suicide attempt does not recur. People
with mental illness should not receive electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) without
the use of muscle relaxants and anesthesia. In addition, ECT therapy is not
given to minors.
De-criminalization of Attempt to Suicide:
In spite of the provisions of Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, Section a
hundred and fifteen of the Mental Healthcare Act states that anybody who commits
suicide, except proved otherwise, will be taken into consideration to be going
thru a few excessive strains and could now no longer be prosecuted. To lessen
the chance of repeated suicide tries, the in a position the authority has the
obligation to offer care, remedy, and rehabilitation for someone who suffers
from excessive strain and tries to dedicate suicide. It indicates how the
introduction of the Act enabled the touchy care of suicidal sufferers who have
been mentally disturbed and left out their well-being.
Responsibility of Different Businesses Recommended:
If there's the purpose to consider that someone with intellectual contamination
is being abused or left out, the police officer in price of the police station
has to file to the magistrate. The responsibility of protective any wandering
individual is imposed at the police in the price of the police station; This
individual could be tested through a clinical representative and could be
admitted to an intellectual fitness status quo primarily based totally in this
take a look at or taken to his domestic or homeless status quo.
Punishment: The penalty for violating the provisions of this regulation is
imprisonment for up to six months or a great of Rs 10,000. Or both. For repeat
offenders, imprisonment for up to two years or a great of Rs 50,000–five lakh or
Critical Analysis Of The Act
The 2017 Mental Health Care Act goals to offer intellectual fitness offerings to
humans with intellectual infection. Ensure that those humans have proper,
dignified lifestyles without discrimination or harassment. The invoice has many
positive/positive components; however, it isn't without its drawbacks and is in
reality now no longer apparent withinside the Indian context. We'll take a
better have a take a observe a number of them here.
The regulation offers for
the proper to stay a dignified-lifestyles, no matter gender, religion,
tradition, or caste. Everyone has the proper confidentiality and remedy. Due to
the brand-new rules, ECT does now no longer must be carried out without
anesthesia and ECT will now no longer be carried out on minors. Such sufferers
aren't sterilized, saved intracellularly, or quarantined. The regulation lets
all people get admission to intellectual fitness offerings.
The motive of this
properly is to make sure the availability, acceptability, and excellent of the
service. Mental fitness offerings want to be installed and to be had in all
elements of the country. However, county and sub-district degree fitness care
infrastructure is not up-to-date, and until the crucial authorities spend extra
on its price range, the economic burden at the country authorities could be lots
The idea of superior administrators lets in sufferers to govern sure
components in their remedy. However, in contrast to in advanced international
locations, elements inclusive of lack of knowledge of intellectual fitness
sources and intellectual infection are neglected withinside the Indian region.
People with extreme intellectual infection do now no longer constantly have the
capabilities to make the proper decisions, and that they do now no longer
constantly have a household to speak to. In such cases, it's far great to pick
remedy due to the fact the affected person or their assigned consultant has
confined information of intellectual fitness and intellectual infection.
from a scientific perspective, this new directive will certainly boom sanatorium
remains for humans with intellectual infection. The regulation acknowledges the
proper to network lifestyles. The proper to stay in dignity. Protection from
cruel, inhuman, or degrading remedy; Types of humans with bodily infection;
Information on remedy rights, different rights, and actions. Right to privacy;
Right to get admission to the supply file.
The proper to private touch and
communication; The proper to mutual prison aid; And guard yourself against
shortcomings in supplying care, remedy, and offerings. However, we do now no
longer have an estimate of the prices required to fulfill our prison
obligations. It isn't clear how those finances could be dispensed among the
crucial authorities and the country authorities.
The regulation ensures loose
and excellent remedies for humans residing beneath the homeless or poverty line
(BPL), even though they do now no longer have a BPL card. In Japan, in which
intellectual infection is taken into consideration synonymous with depression,
the obvious economic burden of the authorities is enormous. For the 2017-18
financial year, the proposed scientific prices constitute 1.2% of India's GDP.
It is one of the lowest withinside the global and public fitness spending has
been progressively declining due to the fact 2013-2014. India spends 0.06% of
its fitness price range on psychiatric care, appreciably much less than
According to a 2011 World Health Organization report,
maximum advanced international locations spend extra than 4% in their price
range on research, infrastructure, and intellectual fitness workers. The new
regulation has a few provisions, however does now no longer encompass
suggestions or implementation. The new creation of decriminalizing suicide is
truly a welcome step.
This recruitment may be abused. However, withinside the
case of a Dowley funeral/homicide try, it is able to be distorted as a suicide
try and isn't a assurance of caution. In growing international locations like
India, intellectual infection and its circumstance are exacerbated through
socio-monetary and cultural elements inclusive of a loss of scientific care,
myths, ignorance, stigma, and discrimination. The calculation does now no longer
take those components into account. The intellectual fitness invoice prevents
and forestalls early on.
Issues And Challenges That Can Be Faced Due To/For Mental Health Care Act, 2017
Although the proposed Mental Health Care Act could be carried out in India
withinside the close to future, a few topics want similarly consideration.
Article 124 states that someone is exempt from "punishment
", however now no
longer from "proceedings
". Police can arrest someone who tries suicide and the
regulation states that "the person that tried suicide had intellectual
Justice the Peace has the energy to make sure that someone with
intellectual infection is stated a public intellectual fitness business
enterprise for assessment/remedy (as in line with Section 111 of the Bill) for
10 days. Therefore, those who try suicide will hesitate to are searching for a
remedy after trying suicide due to the fact they worry that they may be
institutionalized in opposition to themselves. Other issues may additionally
stand up concerning the misuse of the above provisions, inclusive of Attempted
suicide withinside the face of home violence.
It is disputed whether or not it
must be tried as a part of a try and dedicate suicide (as a part of the Mental
Health Act with numerous amendments), with a better have a take a observe
numerous arguable issues. As the respectable role shifts from the prison
version to the scientific
version of suicide try, making intellectual fitness
care reachable to all who try suicide becomes a critical political issue.
Patients providing with a suicide try must constantly be recommended for mental
assistance. As a result, there's a large want for the sources had to enhance
number one intellectual fitness offerings in all areas of the country.
improve public fitness techniques to suicide prevention, together with
consciousness-raising, restricting get admission to normally used lethal
strategies of suicide (insecticides, prescription drugs), and controlling
elements inclusive of alcohol. you need to do it. A powerful framework must be
advanced that integrates intellectual fitness with social offerings, schooling,
and different applicable sectors.
Other Countries That Have De-Criminalized Suicides In The Past
In ancient Athens, a person who had committed suicide (without government
approval) was usually refused a funeral. The man has buried alone on the
outskirts of town with no cemetery or marking. A penal ordinance issued by
Louis XIV in 1670 was more severe in its punishment: the corpses of the dead
were carried through the streets undercover and then thrown in the garbage. Has
been or has been thrown away. In addition, all of this person's property was
The Suicide Burial Act of 1823 removed the legal requirement to bury suicide
bombers at an intersection in England.
Most legal positions against suicide come from St. Augustine's declaration that
suicide is a sin (354-3430). In the past, the influence of religious
institutions has played a key role in creating a legal position to criminalize
suicide attempts. After the French Revolution and other social changes in
Europe, attitudes towards suicide, and suicide attempts began to change
gradually. During the 19th and 20th centuries, most industrialized countries
condemned suicide attempts, but some countries, including India, condemned
suicide attempts. In countries where suicide attempts have been made, belonging
to two key areas is considered a felony.
Countries with Criminalization of Attempted Suicide:
The place of North Africa and the place of South Asia. In the African place,
Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda are the various
international locations presently convicted of non-deadly suicide. In Rwanda,
for example, someone who commits a non-deadly suicide may be sentenced to
two-five years in jail if convicted. In Uganda, non-deadly suicide is a crime
punishable by up to 2 years in jail. Ghana's Criminal Code (Law 29, 1960) does
now no longer criminalize deadly suicide. In Uganda, non-life-threatening
suicide conduct is a crime punishable through up to two years in jail.
Penal Code (Law 29 of 1960) criminalizes suicide with deadly results. In South
Asia place, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangladesh are the various
international locations that criminalize suicide attempts. A guy who tried
suicide in Singapore might be jailed for as much as a year. Moreover, North
Korea criminalizes suicide with a superb barrier that could penalize family and
family of suicide withinside the shape of mass punishment. Countries that try
suicide try to criminalize suicide, the concept of suicide, and once in a while
Countries with Decriminalization of Attempted Suicide:
Countries that have attempted suicide are committing suicide, committing
suicide, and sometimes deliberately harming themselves.
Suicide survivors in Victoria, Australia, could be charged with genocide and
could have helped another person commit suicide. Incitement to suicide is a
crime in New Zealand, and incitement to suicide in Russia is punishable by up to
five years in prison. Attempted suicide in Ireland in 1993, but suicide is not
considered a suicide attempt.
Suicide and attempted suicide are not criminal
offenses under Roman-Dutch law. Some U.S. states (Alabama, Oregon, and South
Carolina) have laws for suicidal treaties, subsidiaries, and partners and for
insurance purposes. Some South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia,
the Maldives, and Thailand, do not condemn suicide attempts.
Currently, the World Health Organization has identified 59 countries in the
world that have de-criminalized suicide. As can be seen from above, suicide
attempts were carried out mainly in Europe, North America, South America, and
parts of Asia.
Suicide attempts have been recognized as of late in countries affected by
Commonwealth law. Similarly, the involvement of attorneys and coroners in
suicide screening is higher than in continental Europe and Scandinavian regions
in these countries. The doctors are allowed to certify suicidal deaths without
any legal liability or, legally.
Some of the major countries which Decriminalized Suicide is depicted in the
||Year Of Decriminalization
||Name Of Country
(Without Reference To Legal Authority)
The new Mental Health Care Act of 2017 pursuits to alternate the essential
method to intellectual fitness problems, which includes clever patient-targeted
care rather than peace-targeted care. The pointers must be reviewed on problems
along with number one prevention, reintegration, and rehabilitation, as their
implementation could be incomplete without such reinforcement and the trouble of
former sufferers with intellectual contamination persists.
So, for positive
reasons, we should wait and reveal the implementation. In conclusion, it must be
cited that the latest steps taken to decriminalize suicide in India are
commendable, however, had been long delayed. Decriminalization will lessen
accidents and capacity harassment following a suicide try. However, we want to
enhance the great of intellectual fitness and create a basis for the transport
of primary intellectual fitness offerings to all who try suicide.
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- Suicide as a crime in the UK: legal history, international comparisons,
and present implications, Neeleman J,
Acta Psychiatr Scand (1996) Oct.
- Preventing suicide: a global imperative, WHO, 2014
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diagnosis: a worldwide perspective". World Psychiatry
- Chang B, Gitlin D, Patel R (September 2011). "The depressed patient and
suicidal patient in the emergency department: evidence-based management and
treatment strategies". Emergency Medicine Practice
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- "Suicide Risk and Protective Factors/ Suicide/ Violence Prevention/
Injury Centre/CDC, www.cdc.gov. 25 April 2019
- Deshpande, R S (2002), Suicide by Farmers in Karnataka: Agrarian Distress
and Possible Alleviatory Steps, Economic and Political Weekly
- State vs Sanjay Kumar Bhatia, 1986 (10) DRJ 31
- P. Rathinam v. Union of India, 1994 SCC (3) 394
- Maruti Shripati Dubal v. State of Maharashtra, 1987 BomCR (1) 499
- Chenna Jagadeeswar and another v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1988 Crl.L.J.549
- Court on Own Motion v. Yogesh Sharma, 1986 RLR 348
- Smt. Gian Kaur vs The State of Punjab, 1996 SCC (2) 648
- Yadwad BS, Gouda HS. Is attempted suicide an offence? J Indian Acad
Forens Medical (2005)
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Delhi: National Human Rights Commission, (2008)
- Mental Illness India's Ticking Bomb Only 1 in 10 Treated; Lancet Study
- Mental Healthcare Bill Decriminalizes Suicide Attempt Passed by
Parliament, Hindustan Times (2017)
- Plato. Laws, Book IX
- Durkheim, Émile (1897). Suicide. New York: The Free Press (reprint, 1997
- Also called the Felo de se Act 1823, the Interments (felo de se) Act 1823,
the Burials (Felo de se) Act 1823, and the Suicide Act 1823.
- Sareen H, Trivedi JK. Legal implication of suicide problems specific to
South Asia. Delhi Psychiatry J. 2009
- World Health Organization (WHO) Suicide prevention, (2012)
- Suicide as a crime in the UK: legal history, international comparisons
and present implications, Neeleman J,
Acta Psychiatr Scand (1996) Oct.