The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) has accepted a petition for a hearing, challenging an amendment that decriminalized suicide and suicide attempts in Pakistan. The amendment in question was approved by President Dr. Arif Alvi in December of last year, which led to the repeal of Section 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
صدر مملکت ڈاکٹر عارف علوی نے فوجداری قوانین (ترمیمی) بل 2022 کی توثیق کر دی
بل کے ذریعے پاکستان پینل کوڈ 1860 میں خودکشی کی کوشش کی سزا سے متعلق سیکشن 325 کو ختم کیا گیا ہے
صدر مملکت نے بیرونی سرمایہ کاری ( فروغ و تحفظ) ترمیمی بل 2022 کی بھی توثیق کی pic.twitter.com/OZOa2XHGG4
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) December 23, 2022
The amendment, known as the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2022, was initially introduced by Senator Shahadat Awan in September 2021. It successfully passed in the Senate in May 2022 and received approval from the National Assembly in October 2022.
Advocate Hammad Saeed Dar is the petitioner behind this legal challenge. Dar argues that the amendment contradicts the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. He emphasizes that it is the state’s responsibility to safeguard the lives of its citizens, and Section 325 was originally enacted to discourage individuals from attempting to end their lives by suicide.
Consequently, the decriminalization of suicide is viewed as conflicting with Islamic principles.
The petition filed by Advocate Hammad Saeed Dar seeks the declaration of the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2022 as “repugnant” to the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Respondents in this legal matter include the Federation of Pakistan through the President, the Government of Pakistan through the Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Law through its Secretary.
The FSC has already issued written notices to the President of Pakistan, the Prime Minister, and the Law Ministry, indicating that the preliminary hearing for the petition was held on Tuesday.
This legal challenge raises significant questions about the balance between secular laws and religious principles in Pakistan’s legal framework, highlighting the complex intersection of law and religion in the country.