We, as humans have evolved a lot. From walking on the moon to bringing the Internet to life, humans have a long way to go. But still, there is a sense of enmity. Everyone wants the best in their life, no one wants to adjust to their commodity. There are moments when we feel down or start fighting with others. Acid attacks cause immediate damage, long-lasting medical issues, disfigurement pain, and a lot of mental stress. Acid attacks happen across the world. Even men are the victims of acid attacks.
An acid attack is defined as throwing acids on the body of the victim in order to hurt them grievously and to take revenge. Perpetrators of these attacks throw liquids at their victims in order to burn them. Acid attacks have severe consequences which can lead to partial or complete blindness. Sulfuric and nitric acid are the two most common acids which are used by the perpetrators. Acid attacks not only hurts the victim physically but also break them from the inside. Victims hesitate to come out, interact with others, and socialize. Their scar stays forever which creates a sense of loneliness in them.
It has term consequences which may include eye burns, permanent scars, and partial or complete blindness. These are not enough as victims suffer from psychological, social, cultural, and economic difficulties. The victim faced physical challenges, surgical treatment, and psychological treatment, and it leads to huge monetary loss. There are some more severe penalties like a scar, a shrinking chin, a mouth becoming shrunken, lips partly or totally getting destroyed depending on the concentration, eyelids may be burned off, deafness may occur, and a skull partly got deformed. These are the severe consequences of the damage given by the perpetrator.
Although acid attacks are reported nowadays, there is still a great number of unreported cases due to various social reasons. There are some laws related to this but the law will only be enforced if the complaint is registered. One needs to understand that perpetrators must be punished for the immoral act, unless the complaint is registered perpetrators will not be punished.
With a growing number of crimes of acid attacks, there is a need to legislate different sections in the Indian penal code to deal with acid attacks and to arrange reasonable compensation to deal with such cases in an effective manner. Section 326 was added in 2013 to give punishment to acid attackers. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,2013 inserted section 326A and section 326B in the Indian Penal code 1860. The offenders convicted under these sections shall be imprisoned for a minimum sentence of ten years and it can go up to life imprisonment along with a fine. This offense is a cognizable and non-bailable offense which means bail will not be given to the perpetrator. Under section 326A if a person administers an acid attack, then the convicted person will be punished for 10 years and it can go up to life imprisonment depending on the discretion of the court. Under Section 326B, the punishment for attempting to throw acid on a person is punishable by 5-7 years. The perpetrator is liable to pay compensation of up to 3 lakhs to the victim.
This case is related to Lakshmi, a 16 years old girl. She refused to marry and as a result, the attacker threw acid on her face. In 2006, she went to the supreme court not only to demand justice for herself but to make new laws related to it and to completely ban the selling of acids. Supreme court to make new laws and according to that anyone below 18 years can not buy acid and a photo identity was instructed for those who wanted to purchase acid for any purpose.
One needs to respect others’ feelings. Cruelty like acid attacks show somehow, we failed as human beings. We can not respect others but we want it from others. This will never lead to a peaceful and ordered environment. Therefore, it is very crucial for any individual to understand humanity and take it seriously so that such a heinous crime would be avoided.
Author’s Name: Mimansha Singh (Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, Indraprastha University)