Acid Attack is the attack of throwing acid on the body. It is a assault which is done in the intention to destroy the face or to kill. The problem of acid attack on womens is increasing day by day. The acid utilized in these assaults is Sulphuric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid and Nitric Acid. It causes severe pain, permanent destruction of skin, blindness of eyes, etc.
On 2nd April, 2013 the Indian Penal Code was amended with the passing of “The Criminal Law (Amendment) resulted in the insertion of sections 326A and 326B which was dealing with the acid attack violence.
The Section 326 mentions grievous hurt by poison or any corrosive substance, Section 326-A elaborates on this issue. It says that voluntarily throwing and administering acids with the knowledge that it will cause hurt and with the intention to cause hurt is within the purview of this section. Acids include any substance which has ‘acidic’ or ‘corrosive’ properties and can cause bodily injury, either through scars or disfigurement, or temporary or permanent disability. Further, for this Section to take effect, damage, either permanent or partial, must be caused to the victim of the acid attack. It is irrelevant if the damage caused is made reversible by medical treatment.
The judgements of the Supreme Court regarding Acid Attack, implementation is still a huge problem. Many survivors state that the amounts transferred to them had arbitrary deductions, and many often receive less than even Rs. 3 lakhs. The private hospitals either deny them admission or quickly transfer them and treatment is not done free of cost as mandated and the public hospitals, on the other hand, suffer from inadequate facilities for care. The survivors of Acid Attack has to struggle to get disability identity cards and those who get them, are not able to get a reservation in public employment as persons with disabilities.
Case Study – 1 –
Laxmi Agarwal Vs. Union of India 2015, This case is related to a girl, Lakshmi who was merely 16-years-old when she suffered from acid attack. The cause of this attack was a refusal to a marriage proposal. Lakshmi was courageous, and in 2006 she filed a PIL in the Supreme Court of India where apart from asking for compensation she also demanded the creation of new laws and amendment of any laws related to acid attacks in India. She asked for the complete ban on the sale of acids in the markets to commoners. The Supreme Court held and ordered the governments at the centre and state level to formulate laws on the same upon proper deliberation and discussions. Seeing the non-compliance of governments on this matter, the Supreme Court took the matter in its own hands and formulated guidelines. As per the guidelines, acid should strictly not be sold to anyone who is below the age of majority, i.e. 18 years. A photo identity proof was needed for those who wanted to purchase acid.
Case Study – 2 –
State of Maharashtra Vs. Ankur Panwar 2019, This case is related to a 23-year-old nurse who worked in a hospital in Mumbai. She was approached by the accused for marriage but she rejected him as she wanted to establish her career. He could not handle the rejection and threw acid on her while she was travelling by train. She accidentally swallowed a few drops and sustained fatal injuries. For a month she was admitted to a hospital, but she passed away. It should be noted that this was a very special case and hence, heard by a Special Court headed by woman judge, Justice A.S. Shinde. She was shocked that the acid attack was so gruesome that it resulted in the death of the victim. At first, he was sentenced to death in accordance with Bangladesh’s very laudable Acid Crime Suspension Act. Later the death sentence was converted to life imprisonment along with payment of compensation to the parents’ of the victim.
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