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Critics of the law say it is a double punishment for people who unsuccessfully try to commit suicideReuters

The Indian government has decriminalised the attempt to commit suicide by modifying the country's Penal Code.

Officials said that 18 states out of 29 and four union states out of seven agreed to remove section 309 from the Penal Code, which criminalised suicide attempts and punished people with jail terms of up to one year and a fine.

The decision came after the Law Commission published a report on the Humanisation and Decriminalisation of Attempt to Suicide, in which it urged the government to repeal section 309, claiming that the law was "inhuman, irrespective of whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional."

The repeal of the law, the report added, would also relieve the suffering of people who have tried to commit suicide.

The Commission also argued that attempting suicide was "manifestation of a diseased condition of mind" that called for treatment and care rather than punishment.

The law has been long criticised with people claiming it is a double punishment for people who have unsuccessfully tried to end their lives.

The repeal of the law comes a few month after the World Health Organization published its first report on suicide, claiming that a person kills themselves every 40 seconds worldwide.

The study found that more than 800,000 people kill themselves every year, with the majority of suicides occurring in low-and middle-income countries.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29-year-olds globally, WHO reported, adding that more men take their own lives than women.