The validity of the penal provision on prosecuting traumatised survivors of suicides was challenged in the Delhi high court on Wednesday. Without issuing a notice, a division bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra asked the ministry of law and justice to give its opinion within eight weeks.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Mental Health Foundation, seeking the repeal of IPC’s section 309 (punishment for attempt to commit suicide) on the ground that it was “inhuman” and against the fundamental right to life.
A person, if convicted for attempting suicide, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both, the provision prescribes.
“We cannot issue a writ of mandamus to the government. Certainly, we can ask the government about its views on the law Commission’s recommendation (favouring repealment of the penal provision),” the bench, said.