FSC To Review Petition On Suicide Decriminalization
The Federal Sharia Court (FSC) has accepted a petition challenging the removal of the legal provision criminalizing suicide or suicide attempts from the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The court has issued notices to the relevant parties.
The petitioner, Hammad Saeed, a lawyer, argues that suicide is prohibited in Islam, and even before the amendment to the PPC through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2022, it was considered a crime in the country. The petitioner cites Quranic verses and Hadiths to support the argument that decriminalizing suicide in Pakistan goes against Islamic teachings. Therefore, the petitioner requests that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act be declared inconsistent with the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, which removed Section 325 from the PPC, specifying punishment for attempted suicide, was introduced in the Senate in September 2021 by Senator Shahadat Awan. The bill was passed by the Senate in May 2022 and the National Assembly in October 2022. President Dr. Arif Alvi signed the bill into law on December 23, 2022.
The respondents in the petition include the Federation of Pakistan represented by the president, the government of Pakistan represented by the prime minister, and the law ministry represented by its secretary. Following the filing of the petition, notices were issued to the respondents.
After a preliminary hearing, the court issued a written order, stating that the petition should proceed to regular hearing. The court has issued notices to the relevant parties.