In Gian Kaur vs State of Punjab case, Judges stated the constitutional validity of the Article 14 and 21 with Section 306 and 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It was stated that Attempt to suicide is not covered under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as it is against the nature to accelerate dying. If any person finds to do so attempt will held liable and punished with imprisonment of 1 year. If a person abets any person to do so will be held liable and punished with the rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years or with fine or with both. Every person should live their life in a dignified manner. Hence, Section 309 of the IPC is constitutionally valid and does not violate Article 21 of the Constitution.
1969 AIR 946, 1996 SCC (2) 648
JUDGEMENT ON: 21st March 1996
Hon’ble Justice J.S. Verma, Hon’ble Justice N.P. Singh, Hon’ble Justice Faizan Uddin, Hon’ble Justice G.T. Nanavati
- Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which, provides for the offence of abetment of suicide.
- Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which, states that everyone who survives an attempt to suicide will be punished.
- Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which states that every person is equal in the eyes of equal.
- Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which states that every person has a right to life and liberty.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
- Gian Gaur and her husband Harbans Singh had committed the offence of abetment to suicide of their daughter-in-law.
- Trail Court convicted them both under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and punished them with the rigorous imprisonment of six years with the fine amounting to Rs. 2,000 and if the appellant cannot pay the amount, then nine months’ imprisonment will be extended.
- Appellant made an appeal in the High Court. It reiterated the judgement in the court and reduced the imprisonment from six years to three years.
- Whether Section 306 of the IPC is constitutionally valid?
- Whether Section 309 of the IPC violates Article 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution?
GIAN KAUR v STATE OF PUNJAB JUDGEMENT:
Court held that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states “Right to life and Personal Liberty” which does not include “right to die” or “right to kill” as it is against the nature or rule of God. No person has a right to accelerate the process of death. Hence, Section 309 of the IPC does not violate Articles 21 and 14. Therefore, it is constitutionally valid.
If we talk about the validity of Section 306, then every citizen in India may not be punished for an attempt to suicide, but if any person is abetting another to do suicide, then that person will be punished keeping in mind the interest of society. Thus, the decision made in P. Rathinam vs UOI was set aside and it was held that section 306 and 309 of the IPC is constitutionally valid and made both appellants held liable for abetment for suicide.
- Naresh Marotrao Sakbre vs UOI, 1895
- Maruti Shri Patil Dubal vs State of Maharashtra, 1987
- P. Rathinam vs UOI
In India, there are lots of fundamental rights, but no person has a right to end his/her life. Attempt to suicide is a punishable offence as no one has a right to end his life as it is against the natural process of death, Also no person may end the life of another person by killing him or by abetting him to suicide as it’s also against the nature.
Hence, this case signifies the importance of life by validating section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
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