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Appraisal Of Acid Attacks Against Women in India

This article is written by Shalini Kaushal of Psit College of Law in 3rd year Semester 6th.

Introduction

An acid attack entails the intentional dumping of acid on the victim, typically on her face. It is a horrific crime against women that is predicated on gender. In addition to creating emotional distress, Attacks by acids cause excruciating agony, long-term deformity, recurrent infections, and frequently both or one eye becoming blind.

According to the National Commission of IndiaAcid attack is defined as “any act of throwing acid or employing acid in any form on the victim with the goal of or with knowing that they will likely cause the other individual to suffer permanent or partial harm any part of such person’s body developing a deformity or disfigurement.”

As per the study, it can be said that 78% of acid attack incidents were motivated by reasons such as refusal to be married, rejection of love, or other personal reasons. Acid attacks on women are on the rise, mostly on young girls between the ages of 11 and 30. Because it is so accessible and affordable, acid is the perfect tool for anyone who would commit this horrific murder against women. Although it is illegal to sell and buy acid, both in urban and rural regions, it is nonetheless widely available in most grocery and hardware stores. The most often used acids in these assaults are hydrochloric, sulphuric, and nitric acids. Although acid attacks seldom result in a person’s death, they can have serious physical, psychological, and societal consequences.

However, it has also been discovered that social isolation and perpetual trauma can develop. The study demonstrates that the majority of those who had responded to acid attacks and experienced violence had done so in various ways of violence, such as exclusion from society, trouble finding a spouse, and employment issues,etc. Local government agencies are running a number of community awareness projects, and administrative divisions, to educate the public about this horrific crime. This essay seeks to elucidate the reasons behind the acid attack on this defenceless woman, its effects, and the issues The difficulty that the victims experienced.As stated under the provisions of “Act of 2008 Preventing Offenses (by Acids) (National Draft Bill for the Commission for Women) “are what are meant by the terms “acid attacks” and “acid.”

Meaning

According to Section 3 of said Act:

“Acid” refers to and includes any material that has an acidic, corrosive, or burning tendency that can cause physical harm that leaves scars, disfigurement, or a temporary or permanent handicap. Any act in which acid is thrown at the victim or used on them in any way with the intention of inflicting harm on another person or with knowledge that such harm is likely to occur is referred to as a “acid attack[1].” Damage, deformity, or disfigurement to any area of the person’s body, whether complete or partial.

By virtue of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013, Section 326B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, has been amended to include the following definition of acid: “Any substance which has the acidic or corrosive character or burning nature, capable of causing bodily injury leading to scars or disfigurement or temporary or permanent disability.”[2]

Indian National Commission, July 2009 “Any act of throwing acid or using acid in any form on the victim with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage to the other person, or with the knowledge that such person is likely to cause permanent or partial damage or deformity or disfiguration to any part of the other person’s body[3],” is what is meant by an acid attack.

Effects

Causes Male-dominated Society

Men have always been told to dominate, and women have always been told to be submissive, in our male-dominant society. Women have always been thought to lack personality. In the past, women were seen as the father’s property. Later, they passed to the husband as a gift from the father, and when they became widows, it was the son who looked out for and had control over them. Men are not accustomed to hearing “no” in such a society where women have always been governed and dominated by men. The rejection of women to enter into relationships, the denial of relationships, the retreat of women from relationships, etc., are some of the elements that have up to this point come to light as contributing to throwing acid. In our male-dominated society, where it has long been expected that men should be in charge, a woman’s disavowal of some of the aforementioned situations has a profoundly negative impact on men’s thinking. As a result, cases of acid attacks have occurred.

  • Acids are inexpensive and simple to obtain.

The ease with which acids are made available on the market is one of the main reasons of acid attack episodes.It is readily available without much effort from pharmacies, outdoor markets, goldsmith shops, auto repair facilities, etc. It is also frequently used by many individuals as a cleaning solution in their homes. This makes it accessible. In addition to this, it is reasonably priced and accessible to regular people.

  • Domestic Abuse

One of the main factors that has been linked to family members throwing acid on weak and beaten women is domestic violence. It might have something to do with giving less dowry, being unable to have children, refusing to follow orders, refusing to have sex, being suspicious, having property problems or family conflicts, etc.

In Ram Chaittar v. State of U.P, a property dispute was at issue. The brother’s wife and daughters were killed when acid was thrown on them.

  • Peer Resentment

Another important element that has contributed to such terrible tragedies is envy. Everyone strives to outperform one another and gain the upper hand in this cutthroat society. It could be in the commercial, service, or educational sectors. A person cannot notice another person who is travelling quickly ahead of them. It is a matter of shame and ignominy that such instances have happened out of pure jealousy, and that these methods have been used to shock and put an end to another person’s bright and successful career. The Ankur Panwar’s case20 is a clear-cut example of it.

  • Punishment for Rejected and Rebuffed Supposed Lovers

This is one of the main reasons why acid is thrown on the victim. When a lady declines a man’s marriage proposal or rejects his overtures, it is interpreted as a spiteful act, and in an effort to get revenge, acid is used to punish the woman and teach her a lesson. For the perpetrator, it only takes a few seconds to pour acid on the victim in order to sate a gruesome sense of revenge against the seeming accusation. 21 These guys don’t get it that the message they are imparting is permanent, and it has a disastrous impact on the woman’s entire life in addition to ruining her appearance.

  • Keeping the family’s honour safe

People have resorted to such barbarous crimes and have used acid as a tactic to restrict women from retaliating against the recognised norms and ethnicity of the family in order to protect the honour of the family.

  • Legal Considerations Regarding Acid Attacks In India:

Incidents of acid attacks frequently make the news in Indian media. Before The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act was passed in 2013, India sadly lacked distinct legislation to address acid attacks. Sections 320, 322, 325, 326, and 307 of the Indian Penal Code were used to prosecute the offence (I.P.C).

Conclusion

Even though acid assaults are receiving greater attention these days, much more has to be done to stop this terrible crime. We have witnessed numerous bills being enacted and numerous laws being altered in prior years, but we are aware that this is insufficient. The sale of acid needs to be strictly regulated. The main factor contributing to the rise in these crimes is the unrestrained sale of acid. The Deepika Padukone-led movie Chappak also makes an effort to shed light on this subject.As a culture, we ought to be aware of the suffering that acid attack victims endure.

  • Those victims are already dejected. But we can’t let them believe that. They should be treated equally to us.
  • They are entitled to respect and decency just like every other person. Law should ensure that justice is carried out and the victims receive adequate recompense in addition to society.

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