No purpose will be served in prosecuting the appellant (Girl), the Bench said.
Although the Law Commission of India has suggested repeal of Section 309 of Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes attempt to commit Suicide, it is still remaining in the Statute Book. Those who attempt to commit suicide, but fail in it, are booked under this section and are left to fend with prosecution for the crime they committed against themselves. Following is a story of a Girl who approached the Apex Court seeking quashing of criminal proceedings against her under Section 309 IPC.
A Girl in Punjab, who was in love with her friend, attempted suicide, as her uncle opposed her marriage with him. During the settlement talks, which was held in a Police station, the Girl took out a blade and inflicted injury on her left hand with a view to commit suicide. She was rushed to Hospital where, even during first aid treatment she repeatedly threatened to commit suicide.
The Police lodged FIR and booked the Girl under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code and the girl later moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking quashing of the FIR against her. But relying on Smt. Gian Kaur versus State of Punjab AIR 1996 SC 946, the High Court refused to quash the FIR and dismissed her petition. The Girl approached the Supreme Court.
The matter came up before the Apex Bench comprising of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel which observed that ‘no purpose will be served in prosecuting the Girl’. The Bench then quashed the FIR and all subsequent proceedings against her ‘in interest of Justice’.
Live Law had reported about the Central Government move to scrap Section 309 of Indian Penal Code which criminalizes ‘attempt to commit Suicide”. But no amendment has been brought yet in this regard. The Law commission, in its 210th report, had opined: “But when a troubled individual tries to end his life, it would be cruel and irrational to visit him with punishment on his failure to die…. It would not be just and fair to inflict additional legal punishment on a person who has already suffered agony and ignominy in his failure to commit suicide.”
Read the order here.