Karnataka HC Holds Only Unsuccessful Attempts To Commit Suicide Punishable and Not Intention Under IPC

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As per Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of the said offence shall be punished with a simple imprisonment for a term extending to one year or fine or both.

No partial attempt to commit suicide is punishable. For Example- Where a woman with the intention of committing suicide by throwing herself into the well, actually ran towards it, when she was seized by a person, she did not make any further attempt, it would be held that she might have changed her mind and she was caught before she did anything which might have been regarded as the commencement of offence.

The petitioner, on the night of 24/10/2016, left his house with an intention to commit suicide. His father found a death note the next day in the house and went to the Rural Police Station and made allegations against the District Superintendent of Police and threatened the police with dire consequences. The petitioner had told one of his close friends that he intends to commit suicide on being frustrated by the attitude of the Superintendent of Police.

The petitioner went to a lodge with the intention to commit suicide and locked himself up in a room for some time but went away the next day which clearly shows that no attempt was made by the petitioner to commit suicide although he had sufficient opportunity for the same.

The court observed in the present case:

“Though he intended to commit suicide, but there is no material to show that he actually committed suicide and survived. It is relevant to note that, any preparation for commission of suicide or mere intention to commit suicide are not at all punishable under Section 309 of IPC.”

The court, therefore, held that there was no attempt to commit suicide and quashed the proceedings against the petitioner.

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