Right to life

Date: March 01, 2015

Fundamental Rights Right to life suicide

Right to Life/die with reference to The Law Commission, in its 210th Report

 Section 309 of Indian Penal Code provides that “An attempt to commit suicide is punishable with simple imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine.”

The Law Commission, in its 210th Report, opined that sympathy, counseling and appropriate treatment and punishment would prevent a person from taking the extreme step and in its report had recommended that Sec 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of IPC needs to be effaced from the statute book.

The Law Commission called Section 309 a “stumbling block in prevention of suicides and improving the access of medical care to those who have attempted suicide.”

As law and order is the State subject, views of States/UTs were requested on the recommendations of the Law Commission. 18 States and 4 Union Territory Administrations have supported that Section 309 of the IPC may be deleted.

Keeping in view the responses from the States/UTs, it has been decided to delete Section 309 of IPC from the Statute book.

Is right to life includes right to die?

In Gian Kaur Vs State of Punjab 1996, the court said  that “Right to life” includes right to live with human dignity and also overruled P.Rathinam’s case (1994) and rightly held that Article 21 does not include “right to die” or “right to be killed”

The ‘right to die’ is based on a conservative and individualistic argument whereby suicide is considered a private affair which in no way can cause damage to others. But this logic is certainly false as far as most of us are concerned. 

Related Information-

1-India has the highest suicide rate in the world after China. Last year, 1,35,445 people killed themselves  in  every four minutes someone ends his or her life in India or 371 suicides take place per day.

2- Tamil Nadu tops the list followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Some of the reasons for suicides: 

Question for mains-

  • In the Light of law commission’s 210th report analyse suicidal attempts in India. What are the socio-economic reasons in which people commit suicide. Why there is rising trend of suicide in India? Suggest measures to control this problem.
  • India has a high  suicide rate . In this context , examine various reasons of suicide in India? Is “right to life” includes “right to die”?  HOW CAN WE PREVENT/ REDUCE SUICIDES IN INDIA? [250 WORDS}    GS paper 2