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The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the central government to list the steps it had taken on a 2008 Law Commission report calling for suicide to be decriminalised.

As per the present provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a person attempting suicide can be punished with a maximum jail sentence of one year.

Expressing concern over the increasing number of suicides in cities, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the government’s response to the Law Commission’s report which said that Section 309 (attempt to suicide) of the IPC be revoked.

The court has asked the government to file an affidavit by July 6.

The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Aditya Shankar on behalf of non-governmental organisation Mental Health Foundation.

The Law Commission report stated that individuals who attempted suicide were in need of help and shouldn’t be punished.

The petition said that persons attempting suicide had suffered much trauma in their lives and imprisonment only worsens their condition.

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