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Laws concerning Acid attacks

The Law Commission, headed by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, proposed that a new section 326A be added to the IPC.

The proposed Section 326A will read as follows :

326A. (i) Hurt by acid attack - Whoever burns or maims or disfigures or disables any part or parts of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid on or administering acid to that person, with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than 10 years but which may extend to life and with fine which may extend to rupees ten Lakhs provided that any fine levied under this section shall be given to the person on whom acid has been thrown or administered.

Classification of offence : Minimum Imprisonment of 10 years extendable up to imprisonment for life and fine. It should be made a cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable offence and triable by court of session.

(ii) Intentionally throwing or administering acid - Whoever throws acid on, or administers acid to, any person with the intention of causing burns or maiming or disfiguring or disabling or causing grievous hurt to that person shall be liable to imprisonment of either description for a term not less than five years but which may extend to 10 years and with fine which may extend to Rs. 5 Lakh.

Classification of offence: Minimum Imprisonment of five years extendable up to 10 years and fine. It should be made a cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable offence and triable by court of session.

The Law Commission also proposed that in cases of acid attack a presumption be incorporated in the Indian Evidence Act as Section 114B. The proposed Section 114B of the Indian Evidence Act shall read as under.

Section 114 B: Presumption as to acid attack -  If a person has thrown acid on, or administered acid to, another person the court shall presume that such an act has been done with the intention of causing, or with the knowledge that such an act is likely to cause such hurt or injury as is mentioned in Section 326 A of the Indian Penal Code.

The Law Commission also proposed that a law known as 'Criminal Injuries Compensation Act' be enacted as a separate law by the government. This law should provide both interim and final monetary compensation to victims of certain acts of violence like rape, sexual assault, acid attacks, etc., and should provide for their medical and other expenses relating to rehabilitation, loss of earnings, etc. Any compensation already received by the victim can be taken into account while computing compensation under this Act.

It is apt to recall here that the Law Commission also proposed a law known as ‘Criminal Injuries Compensation Act’ to be enacted as a separate law by the government. This law intends to provide both interim and final monetary compensation to victims of certain acts of violence like rape, sexual assault, acid attacks, etc., and should provide for their medical and other expenses relating to rehabilitation, loss of earnings, etc. Any compensation already received by the victim can be taken into account while computing compensation under this Act.

Acknowledgement: National Law Commission report on acid violence.

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