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Provisions related to Acid Attack

Provisions related to Acid Attack
- Anubhuti Agrawal


Acid Attack also refers to throwing acid which is a form of violent assault which is defined as throwing acid intentionally on the body of another to disfigure, maim, torture or kill. Acid attack is a cruel, violent, immoral, form of crime in the society. Mostly women are the victims of acid attack. 
Mostly Sulphuric and hydrochloric acid are used in these attacks. The long-term consequence of these attacks is that it blinds people and leaves permanent scars on the face and body. 78% of acid attacks are due to refusing to proposal or refusing to marry. 


SECTION 320-GRIEVOUS HURT- The following types of hurt are designated as "grievous" hurt: -
1. emasculation
2. Permanent loss of vision in both eyes
3. Permanent loss of hearing in both ears
4. Privatization of any member or association
5. The rights of members or joint names are permanently impaired
6. Permanent disfigurement of head or face
7. Fracture or dislocation of bones or teeth
8. Life-threatening injuries, or injuries that cause the patient to suffer severe physical pain within 20 days or unable to perform daily activities.

SECTION 322 - VOLUNTARILY CAUSING GRIEVOUS HURT -Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, which intends to cause or know that the harm might cause is grievous hurt, if the hurt caused by him is grievous hurt, it is called "voluntarily to cause grievous hurt".

SECTION 325 - PUNISHMENT FOR VOLUNTARILY CAUSING GRIEVOUS HURT- Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt, except in the circumstances stipulated in section- 335 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt on Provocation), shall be sentenced to any form of imprisonment, which can be extended to a maximum of 7 years, and shall be fined of.

SECTION 307 - ATTEMPT TO MURDER- Whoever does any act with this intention or knowingly, and under such circumstances, if his act leads to death, he will be guilty of murder and shall be sentenced to any form of imprisonment, up to ten years and shall be liable to fine.

Till 2013, the Indian Penal Code did not recognize acid attack as a separate offence. The 18th LAW COMMISSION of India headed by Justice A.R Lakshmanan proposed a new section 326A and 326B in Indian Penal Code and section 114B in the Evidence Act.

SECTION-326 of IPC, 1860 deals with VOLUNTARILY CAUSING GRIEVOUS HURT by dangerous weapon but it does not include acid attack.

The definition of Section 326 is very narrow, but it does not deal with the problem of acid attack because:
1.It does not include a variety of injuries caused due to the acid attack.
2.This section does not cover the act of managing acid attacks, i.e., planning it.
3.This section does not specify who should be awarded penalty,

In cases of acid attack a presumption is defined in Indian Evidence Act under Section 114B as
PRESUMPTION AS TO ACID ATTACK– If a person has thrown acid on to another person the court shall presume that an has been done with an intention or knowledge that likely to cause injury defined in Section-326A IPC.

The section 326A and section 326Bwas added in 2013 on the recommendation of Verma Committee.

SECTION 326A-GREVIOUS HURT BY USE OF ACID – Whoever causes permanent or partial damage, burn or disables any part of persons body or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid and with the knowledge or intention to cause hurt or injury.
Punishment-10 years (not less than ten years but may extend to life imprisonment with fine.

Section-326B-VOLUNTARILY THROWING OR ATTEMPTING TO THROW ACID-Whoever throw or attempts to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person.
Punishment-5 years (may extend to seven years and also be liable to fine).


Section 357 B has been newly inserted into CrPC, and its contents are as follows:
“The compensation paid by the state government under section 357A is in addition to the fine paid to the victim under section 326A or section 376D of the Indian Penal Code.”

The newly added Section 357 C stipulates that all public or private hospitals must provide first aid or medical treatment free of charge. The content is as follows:
"All public or private hospitals, whether operated by the central government, state government, local agency, or any other person, shall immediately and free of charge subject to 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D or Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code, and the police should be notified of such incidents immediately."


1.Laxmi v. Union of India (2014 4 SCC 427)- For preventing acid attacks the Supreme Court has completely prohibited the counter sale of chemical unless the seller maintains a recording of the address and other details of the buyers and the quantum. Dealers can now only sell the chemical after showed a government issued photo identity card and after specifying the purpose of purchase.
Acid Attack and Rehabilitation of Acid Attack Victims Bill, 2017 was enacted to prevent acid attacks by regulation of sale supply and use of acids and rehabilitation of women victims of acid attacks.

2.Ravinder Singh v State of Haryana (2003 SC 3057)
An acid was thrown on woman (wife) by her husband for refusing to agree to a divorce because the husband was involved in an extramarital affair. As a result of this attack, the victim suffered acid burns to her face and in other parts of the body, which results in her death. The husband was charged and convicted under section 302 of the IPC. However, victim had died but he was not sentenced to life imprisonment.

3.Morepally Venkatasree Nagesh v. State of A.P.  (2002 CriLJ 3625)
The defendant doubted his wife’s character, and poured acid into her vagina because of the failure of the rental because of which she died. The defendant was charged and convicted under section 302 and section 307 of the IPC.

4.Sonali Mukherjee v. UOI & Ors (2010 15 SCC 25)
Sonali Mukherjee, a woman from Dhanbad, was attacked by acid when she was 18. In 2003, three alleged assailants, namely Tapas Mitra, Sanjay Paswan and Brahmadev Hajra, threw acid on her face while she was sleeping on the roof of her house. She was seriously injured and his face was disfigured. The perpetrator was sentenced to nine years in prison, but was granted bail when appealed to the High Court.


1. Physical-Acid will erode the two layers of skin, namely the fat and muscle underneath, and sometimes not only erode bones, but even dissolve bones. The depth of the damage depends entirely on the strength of the acid and the duration of its contact with the skin. When splashed on a person\'s face, the acid will quickly erode the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The eyelids and lips can get completely burned. Sometimes the nose will melt, close the nostrils, and the ears will shrink. Acid can quickly damage the eyes and blind the victim. The skin and bones on the skull, forehead, cheeks, and chin may dissolve. When acid splashes or drips on the neck, chest, back, arms or legs, it will burn wherever it touches. For victims, the greatest immediate danger is respiratory failure.
2. Psychological-Acid attack survivors face many mental health problems after recovery. Victims of acid violence have higher levels of anxiety and depression due to their appearance. According to the Rosenberg Scale, these women reported that both in general and in the social sphere, their self-esteem was reduced and their self-awareness increased.
3. Social and Economic-Acid attacks usually make victims disabled in certain ways, making them dependent on their spouse or family members for daily activities, such as eating and running errands. They face discrimination from society throughout their lives and become lonely. Due to impaired vision and physical disability, many acid survivors are unable to find suitable jobs, which increases these dependencies. Therefore, divorce and husband abandonment are not uncommon in society. In addition, acid survivors who are single at the time of attack will almost certainly be socially ostracized, effectively destroying marriage prospects. They are embarrassed because people may stare at them or laugh at them, and may hesitate for fear of adverse reactions from the outside world. 


Number of Acid attacks are increasing day by day and are more than rape cases. Acid Attack victims have to face mental torture and sometimes they even do not have their family support. The rape victim can be kept in a safe place without disclosing her identity but acid attack victims have to move all around with their bodies. There is a need of more strict legislations related to Acid Attack.


•Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
•Indian Penal Code, 1860
•Indian Evidence Act, 1872