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Report No. 196

Chapter II

Supreme Court of India on Suicide, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Abetment of Suicide, Stopping Life Support Treatment

The Supreme Court Had Occasion To Discuss The Issues of Suicide, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Abetment of Suicide, Stopping Life Sustaining Treatment In Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab: 1996(2) SCC 648.

As the Supreme Court referred to some of the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in that connection, we shall refer to those provisions.

(a) Sections 107, 306 and 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860:

Section 306 of the Penal Code which refers to 'abetment of suicide', reads as follows:

"Section 306: If any person commits suicide whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall be liable to fine." Section 107 defines 'abetment of a thing' as follows:-

"A person abets the doing of a thing, who

First: Instigates any person to do that thing;

Secondly: Engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or

Thirdly: Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.

Explanation 1: A person who by willful misrepresentation, or by willful concealment of a material fact which he is bound to disclose, voluntarily causes or procures, or attempts to cause or procure a thing to be done, is said to instigate the doing of that thing.

Explanation 2: Whoever, either prior to or at the time of the commission of an act, does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act and thereby facilitates the commission thereof, is said to aid the doing of that act."

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