Acid Attack: A Threat To Women’s Safety


  • Introduction

Women are a beautiful creations of god on earth and what if her beauty and her beautiful smile are lost because someone’s ego gets hurt due to her rejection She is the creator of society and without her, no birth of babies can take place. When we talk about the empowerment of women the safety of women should be discussed. Empowering women is not enough until they are safe. It is seen mostly in love affairs when a woman refuses or rejects a man he tries to take revenge on her and tries to erase the beautiful smile from her face by throwing acid. Acid attack not only breaks her self-confidence but also shatters her dreams. Most of the acid attacks are reportedly done against women. As per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), 14 cases of acid attacks were registered per month across the country in 2021. While the conviction rate is very low and the acquittal rate is higher. The availability of acid in the market was easier till 2012 but when the Criminal Amendment Act, 2013 was passed the availability got decreased and it got mandatory for every seller to keep the name and address of the person who is buying acid from their shop.


  • Background

The UK has one of the highest rates of recorded acid attacks in the world. In 2017, 452 cases of this alleged crime were reported and in 2018, 501 cases were reported of this alleged crime. The UK does not have tight control over the sale of acid. ASTI has campaigned for tighter control on the sale and use of acid. In Bangladesh, the number of cases crossed 400 in 2002. Bangladesh government introduced legislation in 2002 for the control of the sale of acid, use and storage of acid and now the attacks have declined to under 100 cases per year. In India, 228 acid attacks were reported in 2018. In 2005, the Acid assault came to the limelight when acid was thrown upon a girl when she refused to marry a man and it got greater media coverage. A renowned name of the acid attack victim i.e. Laxmi was a 15-year-old girl and who refused the marriage offer from her family friend and acid was thrown upon her to destroy to take revenge on her. This was not the first time when acid was thrown over a woman but this time it came into the limelight and in the headlines of the news. New laws were made to restrict the sale and use of acid. It got mandatory for every shopkeeper to keep the name and address of the buyer and it will not be sold in the open market, the license will be issued to the shopkeeper who sells acid.


  • Laws relating to the acid Attacks in India

Till 2013 there were no specific laws for an acid attacks in India. From 2002 to 2010, 153 cases of acid attacks were reported in Indian print media while 174 judicial cases were reported in 2000. Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code deals with voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means was not so effective in dealing with this heinous crime because it does not include acid attack cases. Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill made amendments to section 326 and added sections 326A and 325B.

According to Section 326A, whoever 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 by throwing acid on or by administering acid to that person, or by using any other means with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and with fine.

According to section 326B of the Indian penal code, whoever throws or attempts to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means, with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage or deformity or burns or maiming or disfigurement or disability or grievous hurt to that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India gives special powers to the legislature to create special provisions for women and children. The Special courts and provisions for the protection of the rights of women and children are made as per this clause. This clause is not meant for discrimination between males or females or different age groups but to uplift the status of women in society so that all people in society stand at an equal level. This clause was added to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, sex, race, caste, class, place of birth or any of them.


  • Conclusion  

When an acid attack is committed against a woman it takes away all the aspirations of any woman. The acid attack victims should be given opportunities to spread their wings and fly high so that no acid attack survivor will suicide. In some cases, it is reported that the survivors of this crime commit suicide. Society looks at them like they are the beast. It should be included in the moral education books on how to treat an acid attack victim and not let them feel bad or inferior. Stricter rules are made to forbid the said crime. In India, it takes so much time to solve a case and our system lets the victim suffer till then. The cases must be solved in time and proper compensation be given to the victim.


Written by Priyanka Sharma

Third Year Law Student 

JECRC University, Jaipur  




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