A, a woman after a quarrel with her husband, ran to a well stating that she would jump into it, and she was caught by some persons before she could reach it. Is A guilty of the offence to attempt to commit suicide?…

By | July 21, 2021
ipc mains

Question: A, a woman after a quarrel with her husband, ran to a well stating that she would jump into it, and she was caught by some persons before she could reach it. Is A guilty of the offence to attempt to commit suicide? Give reasons and also refer to the case law, if any, on the point. [H.R.J.S. 2000 D.J.S. 1971 and 1976]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites [A, a woman after a quarrel with her husband, ran to a well stating that she would jump into it, and she was caught by some persons before she could reach it. Is A guilty of the offence to attempt to commit suicide?…]

Answer

Section 309 of IPC classifies an attempt to commit suicide as an offence. It states: Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.

The word ‘attempts’ connotes some conscious endeavour to do the act which is the subject of the particular section. An attempt under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code implies a voluntary action towards suicide. An attempt should be intentional and voluntary.

The main ingredient of Section 309 of IPC is that it should be a voluntary attempt of self-destruction.

In Emperor v. Dwarka Poonja [(1912) 14 BOMLR 146] there is no evidence that the accused jumped into the well to commit suicide. His own version is that he jumped just to avoid and escape from the Police. The evidence shows that he came out of the well of his own accord.

The Court, therefore, quashes the conviction. The accused did not jump in the well to commit suicide, so the accused cannot be held guilty under Section 309 of IPC.

Similarly, as held in Queen v. Ramakka, (1884) 8 Mad 5, if a person, because of family discord, distraction, loss of a dear relation or other cause of a like nature overcomes the instinct of self-preservation and decides to take his life, he should not be guilty of an attempt to suicide.

In such a case, the unfortunate man deserves indulgence, sympathy and consolation instead of punishment.

Therefore, in the present case in which A after some family discord with her husband, ran to a well stating that she would jump into it, and was caught by some persons before she could reach it she will not be held to be liable to have committed attempt to suicide.


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