Attempt to commit suicide is considered an offence under the IPC as taking one’s own life is not considered legal in the eyes of natural law. However, the question as to whether the mere intention to commit suicide or even undertaking preparations to commit suicide falls under the ambit of Section 309 of IPC was answered by the Karnataka High Court in Kaviraj S v. State of Karnataka.

The Hon’ble Justice K.N.Phaneendra, was presiding over the said criminal petition filed by the Petitioner, Mr. Kaviraj S for quashing of the criminal proceedings initiated against him for the offence under Section 309 of IPC. The Hon’ble Court made the observation after referring to the charge sheet that:

“The only allegation against this petitioner is that he has made attempt to commit suicide. But on perusal of the entire charge sheet there is no allegation that in what manner the petitioner has made attempt to commit suicide. 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 also referred to the judgment of the Apex Xourt in Apex Court in Satvir Singh and Others v. State of Punjab and Another (2001) 8 SCC 633 wherein, the Apex court has observed that attempt to commit an offence is an essential condition to attract the provisions of Section 309 or Section 511 of IPC.

Thereafter on the premise of its observations with reference to judicial precedents and the evidences presented, the Hon’ble Court observed, after admitting the petition and quashing the proceedings in the lower court, as follows:

“Therefore, nothing is on the record to show that any attempt actually was made by the accused-petitioner to commit suicide at any time. Therefore, absolutely no ingredients of Section 309 of IPC is available. Hence, the constitution of the offence under Section 309 of IPC itself is not made out, as such, proceedings against the petitioner cannot be continued for the above said offences.“


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Order: Kaviraj S Versus State of Karnataka