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ACID ATTACK : A NEW FORM OF VIOLENCE NEED TO BE ADDRESSED

Author: Pallabi Paul, II Year of LL.M(Criminal Law Specialization from Department of Law, Assam University, Silchar.


Introduction

Acid Attacks are used as a form of revenge by the criminals when they feel they are offended by any of the acts of the victims,purpose is to harm the victim in such a way that it completely disfigures the part of the body of the victim where the acid has been thrown .In this article,attempt has been made to highlight the rise in cases of acid attack across the nation and the legal frameworks to punish the criminals who has committed the offence in India.Although, number of awareness programmes has been conducted by the voluntary organizations and administrative departments to prevent the premeditated throwing of acid on the face of the victims.But despite of these, laws are considered as in efficient to provide justice to the victims.Acid attack is a new form of violence or use of assaults where the victim suffers from grievous injuries due to the intentional throwing of acid or any form of corrosive material with the purpose to maim, disfigure, torture, or kill an individual. Generally, it's found that most of the victims of such crime are young women who are unmarried who have rejected the proposal of relationship or marriage offered by the criminal and faced such circumstances of harassment by the accused in the public place or have rejected sexual favors and due to that it hurt the ego of the accused and out to aggression and to take revenge , they commit such offence.



Cases of violence in the form of Acid Attack

Now a days cases of corrosive assaults has increased drastically , where based on the news reports,its found that about 72% of announced assault, females are the victim of such crime of acid attack.The occurrence pace concoction ambushes in India has been expanding in the previous decade, with a high 27 detailed cases in 2010. By and large, from January 2002 to October 2010, 153 instances of incidents were reported in India, moreover, over 174 matters were reported for the time of 2000. The instigation influencing such corrosive assaults in India is - Revenge, viz. 34% of the broken down print media in India referred to the dismissal of marriage or refusal by ladies of lewd gestures as the reason for the assault and share differences have appeared to spike corrosive assaults. The land, property, as well as business questions, represented 20% of corrosive attacks in India from 2002 to 2010.



Incidents of Acid Attacks in different nations

Today, corrosive assaults are accounted for in numerous pieces of the world. Since the 1990s, Bangladesh has been revealing the most noteworthy number of assaults and most noteworthy rate rates for ladies with 3,512 Bangladeshi individuals corrosive assaulted somewhere in the range of 1999 and 2013.India is additionally now on high modifying of corrosive assault after the instance of Lakshmi. In 2000 in India there were 174 instances of corrosive assault yet now it has taken as an unexpected ascent. Be that as it may, Bangladesh is the nation which has the most noteworthy number of cases in the corrosive assault.


Since corrosive substances are so promptly accessible over the counter in clinical and different stores, corrosive assaults become a moderately modest and powerful method of submitting demonstrations of brutality against women. Corrosive assault is normal in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and a couple of different nations. The whole way across the nation, one can stroll into various shops in the country or urban focuses and buy any measure of exceptionally thought corrosive from retailers, who scarcely raise an eyebrow when offering this profoundly destructive substance to their shoppers.



Legal Provisions

Till as of late there was no particular law in India to govern the instances of acid attacks.Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code which regulates intentionally causing Grievous Hurt by using Dangerous Weapons or means was not all that powerful in managing this offensive type of wrongdoing since it does exclude corrosive assault. The eighteenth law commission of India which was going by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan then proposed another inclusion of Section 326A and 326B in the India Penal Code and Section 114B in the Indian Evidence Act.

The place additionally doesn't determine who the fine ought to be granted to the section doesn't rebuff the purposeful demonstration of tossing of corrosive if no wounds happen. Further in instances of corrosive assault an assumption is fused in the Indian Evidence Act as Section 114B..The proposed Section 114B of the Indian Evidence Act will in order to help the acid attack victims, there is an urgent requirement of issuing direction where the State Governments/Union Territories ought to truly examine and take up the issue with all the private clinics in their separate State/Union Territory such that the private clinics ought not to decline treatment to survivors of corrosive assault and that full treatment ought to be given to such casualties including medications, food, bedding, and reconstructive medical procedures. Apart from that there is requirement of establishment of the emergency clinic, where the survivor of a corrosive assault is first treated, should give a declaration that the individual is a casualty of a corrosive assault. This testament might be used by the casualty for treatment and reconstructive medical procedures or whatever other plan that the casualty might be qualified for with the State Government or the Union Territory, by and large.



Perspective on Acid Attacks by the Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court of India paid attention to it very much. The three pleadings that were brought under the steady gaze of the Court by the Laxmi were extremely clear and the Court comprehended the requirement for explicit law for corrosive assaults. As our neighboring nation, https://blog.ipleaders.in/acid-attack-and-the-law-in-india/?amp=1 with deal and acquisition of corrosive to check the corrosive assaults and has seen a decrease in the corrosive assault urged the Supreme Court to outline the guidelines. Initially, in such a manner on 6-2-2013, the Supreme Court coordinated the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs partner the Secretary, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers to pass on the gathering to talk about the accompanying viewpoints:

1)To institute any suitable arrangement to control the offer of corrosive in that specific state or association region.

2) To take suitable measures to restore the corrosive casualties and in any event, for their legitimate treatment

3)And the remuneration payable to the corrosive assault casualties by state or making of some different store for the installment of pay to the corrosive assault casualties


At first, different state Governments and Union territories have documented their affirmations. Also, the Central Government guaranteed to the Court that it will sit with all-state Governments and Union domains too to outline the rules to control the offer of corrosive. But it neglected to do that so now that is left to the Supreme Court to outline the guidelines identifying with deal and acquisition of Acids. Justice Lodha by scrutinizing the carelessness of government said Seriousness isn't seen with respect to the Government in taking care of the issue. So, the Honorable Supreme Court by keeping the protected provisions of Arts. 21, 14, 15, and 32 of the Constitution as the main priority to give the rules. Under the new provisions:

Any person who is less than the age of 18 years should not be given acid -


  • The person who is purchasing acid is required to produce his identity card.

  • The person who is purchasing acid has to state the reason behind purchasing the acid to the shopkeeper.

  • The person who is selling the acid is required to mandatory submit the documents to the police within his jurisdiction or nearby station within a period of 3 days.

  • The person selling the acid is bound to share all the details about the stocks of acid to the sub-divisional-magistrate within a period of 15 days.

  • In case of undeclared stock of acid, it will be opened to the concerned sub-divisional-magistrate to confiscate the stock and suitably impose fine up to 50,000/-


The educational institutions, research laboratories, government departments, and government departments of public sector undertakings if they are required to keep the stocks of the acid then they have to follow the following guidelines:

  • A register has to be maintained regarding the usage of the acid and the same shall be filed with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate

  • A person shall be made accountable for possession and safekeeping of acid in their premise

  • The acid shall be stored under the control and guidance of an individual and it's necessary to go for checking on the students, and the person leaving the laboratory in various institutions.



Suggestions & Conclusion

There should be strict regulation by the administration to monitor whether the chemical shops are selling concentrated acids like sulphuric acid,nitric acids to the common individuals other than the schools and colleges where the chemicals are required for academic purpose in laboratories.Even there was a need for a law that particularly deals with acid attacks with stringent punishment for convicts and fair compensation to the victim. The pleading before the Court is needed in order to frame new laws in order to prevent the instances of violence by throwing acid on any individual and amending the provisions provided under the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Criminal Procedure Code to insert a provision that the Acid Attack is an offence.Apart from that initiatives should be taken by the Government to provide economic assistance in the treatment of the poor acid attack victims those who are inefficient to receive proper treatment in private healthcare center and there should be effective rehabilitation or consultation centre for the acid attack victims who are suffering from the trauma psychologically so that they can come out of the distress and able to face the society again.


Endnotes

(1)Roger W. Byrd, "The manifestations of acid attacks (vitriol or vitriol)",16,FSMP, 387–388,(2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-020-00241

(2) ibid

(3)Acid Attack Case, TOI,(April 3,2022,9:10pm)https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.timesofindia.com/topic/acid-attack-case/ampdefault

(4)Surbhi Agarwal, "Acid Attack and the Law in India"Ipleader(April 3,2022,9:10pm)https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.ipleaders.in/acid-attack-and-the-law-in-india/amp/

(5)Welsh J. “It was like burning in hell” A comparative exploration of acid attacks. Center for Global Initiatives, Carolina Papers. Master of Arts thesis, University of North Carolina; 2009.

(6)Nagarajan M, Mohamed S, Asmar O, Stubbington Y, George S, Shokrollahi K."Data from national media reports of ‘acid attacks’ in England: a new piece in the jigsaw. Burns." 2019; doi: org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2019.10.027.