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Reps move to decriminalise attempted suicide

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The House of Representatives is seeking to decriminalize attempted suicide with an amendment to the Criminal Code.

The House on Tuesday passed for second reading a bill seeking to provide counselling for victims of attempted suicide instead of the one year prison term prescribed by the Principal Act.

The bill was sponsored by Francis Waive and passed for second reading after the debate on the general principles of the bill.

Leading the debate on the bill, Waive said the exiting Act provides that “Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”

He noted that “it seems a monstrous procedure to inflict further suffering on even a single individual who already found life so unbearable, his chances of unhappiness so slender, that he has been willing to face pain, and death in order to cease living”.

In the bill, the lawmaker is proposing the amendment of Section 327 of the Act with a provision that provides counselling.

“Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to compulsory counselling and community service for a period not less than six months,” the proposed Section 327 reads.

The bill was passed for second reading after it was put to vote by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen.

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