Acid Attack: An Inhuman and Scandalous Crime against Women in India

Sunil Kumar Mishra
Research Scholar
Pacific Academy of Higher Education and Research University,
Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Volume II – Issue III, 2019

India has become a serious victim of heinous crime of acid attack, especially on women, in last decade. Acid attack is brutal crime committed with an intension to maim, disfigure and kill the victim. Acid attack is a serious threat to the dignity and existence of an individual. The Constitution of India guarantees, fundamental rights to its citizen. It safeguards their existence. It gives rights to its citizen – Right to be free, live free, express freely, move freely, Right to raise voice against discriminations based on gender, racial, sex, caste or creed. The Constitution of India denies any type of discriminations. But heinous crime of acid attack is a gender based discrimination and violence committed especially against women. According to the National Commission of India acid attack is “any act of throwing acid or using acid in any form on the victim with the intention of or with knowledge that such person is likely to cause to the other person permanent or partial damage or deformity or disfiguration to any part of the body of such person”. Refusal to marriage proposal, rejection of romance, and dispute of property, anger and gender discrimination are root cause which motivates the perpetrators to commit such heinous crime. Today, we daily come across the headlines of acid attack on young women and it is increasing day by day. The perpetrators are using this acid as crime weapon which are easily available in the market. It is cheap and readily available in the market. The retailers never maintain any record of the sale of acids due to which it has become an idle weapon for crime. The most common types of acid used in these attacks are Sulphuric and Nitric acid. Hydrochloric acid is sometimes used, but is much less damaging. Aqueous solutions of strong material such as caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) are used as well particularly in areas where strong acid are controlled substance. Acid attack rarely kills but it causes several type of physical, psychological and social scarring. It leaves the victim in trauma. It is not just a physical attack but it is an assault to the dignity and self-respect of an individual. The criminal law (Amendment) act 2013 and the guideline of Apex Court of India, the regulation for acid attack has become stricter, despite of that there is 300% increase in total number of acid attack in 2014. Our legal, medical and political systems have proved to be very weak and obsolete to fight for the victims of acid attack. This paper deals with the scars that acid attack leaves on victim – physically, psychologically, socially and economically. The subsequent paragraphs will examine the contemporary laws governing acid attack.


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