ACID ATTACK


One of the most violent crimes to occur is an acid assault. It may surprise you to learn that it is extremely typical in South Asia. The nations having the most acid attack instances are Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Women are the victims of these crimes most often. Sulfuric and nitric acid sales that are unrestrained and unlawful support offenders.To punish those who commit acid assaults, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides Sections 326 A and 326 B. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 introduced both of these provisions to the IPC. As a result, victims of either gender are protected by these parts, which are gender neutral. Although women are the majority of victims of acid attacks, males have also been the victim of this crime.

SECTION 326A of the IPC

The cases of acid assaults are covered in this section, along with the associated penalties. It states that:

326A: Whoever, by throwing acid on or administering acid to that person, or by using any other method with the intention of causing or with knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, causes permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or burns or maims or disfigures or disables, any part or parts of the body of a person, or causes grievous hurt

If the fine is fair and reasonable, fair to cover the victim’s treatment’s medical costs. Furthermore, the victim must receive payment for any fine imposed in accordance with this clause.

Explanation 1: For the purposes of this section, “acid” refers to any material that has an acidic, corrosive, or burning tendency and that might cause physical harm that results in scarring, deformity, or a temporary or permanent handicap.

Explanation 2. – An irreversible injury or deformity is not necessary for this section’s purposes for permanent or partial damage or deformity.

SECTION 326B of the IPC

Section 326B of the Indian Penal Code outlines the penalty for attempted acid throwing. It states that:

326B: Whoever throws or attempts to throw acid on any person, attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means with the intent to cause permanent or partial damage, deformity, burns, maiming, disfigurement, disability, or grievous hurt to that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that shall not be less than five years, but which may extend to seven years, and also be liable for any damages that result from the offence

Explanation 1- Any material that has an acidic, corrosive, or burning characteristic is considered “acid” for the purposes of this section and section 326 A that is capable of inflicting physical harm that might leave scars, a deformity, or a temporary or permanent handicap.

Explanation 2- A permanent or partial harm or deformity does not need to be irreparable in order to be covered by this section’s 326 A and this clause.

CASE LAWS RELATING TO ACID ATTACKS

As a result of the attacker’s aim being interpreted as a desire to kill the victim, the accused has in certain cases of affirmative cases faced murder charges. The fine that has been imposed, even in these instances where things went well, has frequently been quite little. The court frequently fails to impose this fine on the victim as well. In a case from 1998 in Maharashtra, a woman’s brother-in-law threw acid on her as she was carrying their two-and-a-half-year-old child because she refused to support her husband’s second wife financially. She suffered acid burns to her left breast, hand, and side of her face, and both she and her little daughter were blinded. Finally, burn damage caused the woman’s death. The court in this instance sentenced the defendant’s brother-in-law to a month of solitary confinement as well as a life sentence in jail and a fine of Rs. 1000 under Section 302 of the IPC. In addition to a fine of Rs. 2000 and three months of severe jail, he received a 5 year sentence under Section 326 of the IPC. Despite the fact that the accused was found guilty, the learned Judge did not understand the need to impose a sufficient punishment and provide a portion of it to the victim’s kid, who sustained various injuries as a result of the attack.

 State of Uttar Pradesh v. Smt Aqueela, 1999 Cr LJ 2754. As a result, over the years, a variety of acid assaults have been reported under the sections for injury, severe injury, murder, etc. However, the nature and consequences of the crime of an acid attack are highly different and complicated, and the sections dealing to injury and grave injury do not offer a suitable remedy or penalty. In addition, when it comes to deciding which parts should be reported in cases of, acid attacks, the police frequently exercise their judgment. This discretion is occasionally tainted by corruption and gender prejudice or is incorrect. The majority of the time, no compensation has been given. For those who have received compensation, the amount is paltry and completely insufficient to cover even the cost of medical care. In most cases, judges just impose penalties without even notifying the victims. Therefore, it should be explicitly stated in the CrPC’s provision on compensation that the fines assessed shall be provided to the victim or their relatives. The victims endure significant hardships as a result of the lengthy legal procedure, poor reparations, and, of course, the effects of the acid assault. As a result, it is urgent to pass legislation creating specific I.P.C. sections to deal with acid attacks and to establish a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in India to handle such cases effectively and efficiently. This will aid acid attack victims in receiving compensation for their medical costs and rehabilitation costs in addition to making Section 357 CrPC mandatory in certain circumstances.

CONCLUSION:

One of the most terrible crimes occurring nowadays is the acid attack. Every acid attack victim experiences lifelong troubles as a result of the attack. They are unable to lead regular lives any more. Their quality of life deteriorates. It makes it very difficult for such victims to finish their schooling, get employment, get married or have children, or even just engage in simple social interactions. These atrocities are happening more often each day. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the government to take strict action and punish these repulsive criminals more severely. Additionally, in these situations, society as a whole should be concerned and assist the victim in leading a normal life as opposed to fostering a hostile or marginalizing atmosphere. The role of government is crucial.Similar to how a society plays a more significant role in assisting the victim in her rehabilitation than it does in protecting the public from similar crimes by enacting rigorous laws throughout the nation.

REFERENCES

Kumar L, “Acid Attack Punishment under Indian Penal Code (IPC)” (WeCapable, September 17, 2019) <https://wecapable.com/acid-attack-punishment-ipc/&gt; accessed November 2, 2022

advocatekhoj.com, “Cases Relating to Acid Attack in India | The Inclusion of Acid Attacks as Specific Offences in the Indian Penal Code and a Law for Compensation for Victims of Crime | Law Commission of India Reports | Law Library | AdvocateKhoj” (Cases Relating to Acid Attack in India | The Inclusion of Acid Attacks as Specific Offences in the Indian Penal Code and a law for Compensation for Victims of Crime | Law Commission of India Reports | Law Library | AdvocateKhoj) <https://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/lawreports/inclusionofacidattacks/8.php?Title=The%20Inclusion%20of%20Acid%20Attacks%20as%20Specific%20Offences%20in%20the%20Indian%20Penal%20Code%20and%20a%20law%20for%20Compensation%20for%20Victims%20of%20Crime&STitle=Cases%20Relating%20to%20Acid%20Attack%20in%20India&gt; accessed November 2, 2022.

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