Suicide and Law in India

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Ankita Jaiswal
Published On: 12/09/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 5
First Page: 1
Last Page: 4
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Ankita Jaiswal, Suicide and Law in India, Volume 9 Issue 5, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 1-4, Published on 12/09/2023, Available at


Suicide refers to the act of killing oneself intentionally, this word is derived from the Latin phrase “Sui cadere” which means to end oneself. The essence of suicide is that, first, it should be intentional and, second, the person committing suicide must commit it himself, i.e. both victim and victimizer are the same person.[i] There are various ways to effect it such as hanging, drowning, suffocating, shooting oneself, using poisonous stuff or other harmful meds in a huge amount, among various others. Suicide was criminalized in India till 2018 under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) which states “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act  towards the commission of such offence shall be punished with simple imprisonment of a period which may extend to one year.” [ii]

This article talks about how criminalizing suicide was one of the biggest mistakes, why it needed to be decriminalized, what can be done to ensure a healthy society without violating someone’s rights, what steps have been taken by the Indian lawmakers to tackle such issue and what can be seen in the near future.

[i] M. Mohan v. State, (2011) 3 SCC 626.

[ii] Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860

Keywords: Suicide, Law, India, Decriminalization of suicide, Mental Healthcare Act,2017

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