How can a person be punishable for acid attacks under IPC?

Dec 14, 2020

Acid attack is a form of violent assault which is defined as an act of throwing acid intentionally on the body of another to disfigure, main, torture or kill. It is gender-neutral, but most of the victims were females. Sulphuric and hydrochloric acid are the two types of acid which are used in these attacks. The long consequences of these attacks are that it makes the person blind along with permanent scarring on their body parts. According to the report of National Crime Records Bureau, 2018, the highest no of cases was reported from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Until 2013, the Indian Penal code did not recognise acid attack as a separate offence. By the Criminal Law Amendment Act, Section 326A and 326B were inserted in IPC providing punishment for acid attack and attempted acid attack. Section 326A depicts imprisonment not less than ten years which may extend to imprisonment for life and with fine which shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses and it shall be paid to the victims and Section 326B says about the attempt to acid attack will tend to imprisonment not less than five years but which may extend to 7 yrs and shall also be liable to fine. During 18 July 2013, the Supreme Court formed a guideline and regulations stating that over the counter, sale of acid is completely prohibited unless the seller maintains a register. The seller must declare all stocks of acid with the concerned Sub-divisional Magistrate within 15 days. The concerned SDM can impose fines up to Rs. 50000 on any person who commits a breach of any of the directions. The acid attack victims should be paid compensation of at least 3 lakh by the concerned state government. The landmark judgement of acid attacks was the case of Laxmi v. Union of India and Morepally v. The State of AP. In the Morepally case, the accused was suspicious about the character of his wife and poured acid into her vagina; she later died due to renal failure. The accused was charged and convicted under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC. 

Acid attack is a distal act, and the no of attacks in India can't be settled. Drenching a person's face with such acid which leads to disfiguring is just an act of a coward. The most victims were females because the dominating nature of men wasn't able to accept the female who was confident and ready to challenge the patriarchal society and this is the very reason which needs to be stopped. Well, the government has made strict rules and regulations to keep these acts in pace.