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Author: Rishi Kumar Singh, I year of B.A.,LL.B. from Lloyd Law College, Uttar Pradesh

Suicide, an act of taking one’s own life usually by hanging, poisoning by pesticides, drowning, jumping from great height, drug overdose, shooting and by using firearms are again on mutiny. This is the one of the biggest stumbling block of progress in the running 21st century. It is perceived in the present era most often usually in all age group but surprisingly in young teens also who entered in the dawn of the life. In this article I will give you glimpse of history of suicide, how it evolved and various such aspects related to it.

Why Suicide rate jumped with modernization?

Paradoxically, the data on suicide astounds everyone. Especially comparing it to rural and undeveloped places, it is found to be greater in percentage in urban and developed areas. In wealthy countries, it is substantially greater than in undeveloped countries. Suicide rates are increasing with the passage of time. The question of why surfaces once more.

The rationale is straightforward. Previously, civilization was based on myth. The legends of GODS and DEMONS were held in high regard. Any misfortune that befell on somebody was supposed to be a Demon's curse, or that God was assembling his puppet for the impending future hitch. It was simply assumed that God had done this to them and people believed that no individual played a role in their unfortunate fate. However, as time passed, a faith in science and scientific evidence gained. Every disaster has a purpose, people have discovered. Individualism and hard effort become profoundly ingrained in culture.

People realized that if you work hard you will succeed or you will lag behind. This gave rise to stiff competition. To the immature youthful mind, competition gave rise to bad phrases like stress, worry, sadness, split personality disorder, and eventually agonizing agony. Finally, actions such as suicide were taken.

Suicide Composition Tree

NCRB (The National Crime Records Bureau) is a government body in India tasked with gathering and analyzing crime statistics as mandated by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL). It has given data that the highest rate of suicide is seen in daily wage earner followed by housewife, other person, self employed person, unemployed person, professional and salaried person, student, person engaged in farming sector and finally retired person. Maharashtra bagged the unfortunate top list. The main reason is poverty followed by unemployment, drug abuse, family problem and educational overload. A suicide is committed in every 4 min in our country. 381 suicides is committed every day. If we multiply 381 to 365 it will take calculator to get the result. Males commit suicide 4 times more than female. The usually preferred mode of suicide was hanging followed by self poisoning. Now the question arises does education plays any role in preventing suicide? The answer is that only 3.7% suicide rate is seen in graduated young Indian compared to other lower level of educated persons, so yes education obstructs the growing rate of suicide.

Right to Die is Fundamental Right or Not ?

In Maruti Shipati Dubal Vs State of Maharastra, 1987 the court threw light that Right to live as recognized by Article 21 will also include a right not to live or not to be forced to live. To put it positively it would include a right to die or to terminate one’s life. Also, Section 309 of IPC prescribes the same punishment to all individual irrespective the different set of circumstances under which suicide attempt is made. The Court said that these two laws are contradictor to each other. But Section 309 being arbitrary is ultra virus of Article 14 of Indian Constitution.

In Chenna Jagadeshwar and ANR. Vs The State of Andra Pradesh, the Court found that Section 309 is valid and does not offend the Article 19 and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Now the question came before The Apex Court.

In P.Rathinam Vs Union of India AIR 1994 the court explored that Section 309 violates Article 21 and so, it is void since Section 309 of Indian Penal Code deserved to be effaced from the statue book to humanize our Indian Penal Laws. It is cruel and an irrational provision and it may result in punishing a person again i.e. doubly who has suffered agony and would be undergoing ignominy because of his failure to commit suicide. Finally in Gain Kaur Vs State of Punjab AIR 1996 the Apex Court overruled the previous judgments verdicting that Section 306 and Section 309 are independent provisions. The Court said that suicide is unnatural termination of one’s own life so the Section 309 is valid.

A Special Case : EUTHANASIA

Euthanasia is a painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or an irreversible coma. This practice is legal as well as illegal in many countries of the world.

In Gian Kaur Vs The State of Punjab, AIR 1996 the court said that a dying person who is terminally ill or in a persistent vegetative state may be permitted to terminate his or her own life. Right to not live can be covered under such injunctions. But The Apex Court said that the euthanasia should be made lawful only through legislation. In Aruna Ramchandra Shangaug Vs Union of India 2011 the court said that the passive euthanasia should be permitted in our country in certain circumstances , and disagreed …….that it should never be permitted.

Is Suicide Really Justified?

Young person below the age of 25 even commits suicide. We should think that what psychological pressure they were going through that they feel so trapped that they decide to give full stop to their life. Suicide is indeed is not a pleasurable thing. The process to take decision to commit suicide is so horrible that we cannot imagine.


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