The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Wednesday admitted for hearing a plea seeking the nullification of an amendment to the Criminal Laws Act decriminalising suicide and suicide attempts.
In December last year, President Dr Arif Alvi approved the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2022, which repealed Section 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
The bill for the amendment was introduced by Senator Shahadat Awan in September 2021, passed in the Senate in May 2022 and by the National Assembly in October 2022.
“Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both,” the section read.
Advocate Hammad Saeed Dar challenged the legal amendment in a petition filed to the FSC, arguing that it was against the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
It argued that it was the state’s responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens and Section 325 was enacted to deter those attempting to end their life by killing themselves, thus decriminalising suicide went against Islam’s teachings.
The petition pleaded that the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2022 be “declared repugnant” to the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
The Federation of Pakistan through the president, the Government of Pakistan through the prime minister and the law ministry through its secretary were named as respondents in the plea.
The court issued a written order on the plea today, stating that the preliminary hearing on the petition was held on Tuesday.
“We find that the petition needs to be heard and the same is admitted to regular hearing. Let notice be issued to the respondents,” the order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said.