Bill to decriminalize suicide tabled in Senate

ISLAMABAD: A draft legislation to decriminalize suicide and declare it a mental illness was tabled in Senate by an opposition senator on Monday.

The session was chaired by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

The bill tabled by PPP lawmaker Shahadat Awan proposed an amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. The bill was supported by the government members as well, leading to its passage.

another bill, Senator Awan proposed amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. This bill pertained to declaring suicide a mental illness.

Awan said suicide was not a criminal offence but a mental illness.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) leader Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said Islam forbids suicide.

PTI lawmaker MNA Ali Mohammad Khan said that people who commit suicide are not mentally well. However, he said that it must be assessed if the decriminalization would lead towards a spike in the suicide rate.

PTI Senator Shehzad Waseem said further consultations should be held on this bill to decriminalize suicide, adding that opinions should be sought from scholars as well as scientists.

Azam Nazir Tarar said that 80% of countries of the world have abolished such laws.

The Senate chairman said the bill will be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for its recommendations. He said that the bill would be discussed in the committee after the opinion of the council.

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