The social stigma attached to them after the attack makes their life difficult. Many suffer from Post-Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is difficult for them to forget the incident and fight against it. Sometimes their family members also do not support them and it becomes hard for them to overcome all this.
Societal Effects due to their appearance, the society members often mock them and the victims also think that if they go out they will end up scaring people. Also, the disabilities caused to them make them dependent on others and no one helps them. They are not able to get an education after that because they are discriminated against in a class by the students.
They don’t even get the jobs easily due to their appearance. So, even if the victims accept themselves, society does not let them do so. After all this, the victims often end up blaming themselves for the incident.
Till 2013, India did not have any specific laws which dealt with the acid attacks specifically. Even Section 326 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 dealt with ‘Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means’ which though included hurt by corrosive substance but did not have a specific provision to deal with acid attacks. The scope of Section 326 was also very limited and a narrow one and was not dealing with this crime appropriately because it did not cover the various kinds of injuries inflicted by acid attack and how grievous injury has been caused.
It did not cover the planning and administering of the attack. It did not punish the intentional act which did not cause any injury to the victim. But in 2013, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, was passed by the legislation, which inserted Section 326A and Section 326B under Indian Penal Code, to specifically deal with the cases of acid attacks in India. This amendment included the various injuries inflicted upon, the punishment for an attempt to attack, the pre-planning or administering of the act and the compensation to be awarded to the victims.
This amendment also inserted provisions for the compensation to the victim i.e. Section 375B and Section 357C which not only provided compensation by State but also Free Medical Treatment. Also, the right of private defence under Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code was extended. Section 326A of IPC Section 326A of the Indian Penal Code states the ‘Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc.’
If any person by using acid or any other means and cause a partial disability, deformity, bums, maim, disfigurement of the face, or any part of the body intentionally by administering acid, then will be punished for not less than 10 years of imprisonment which may extend to life imprisonment along with the fine.
The fine will be reasonable and according to the medical expenses for the treatment of the victim. The fine shall be paid to the victim Section 326B of the Indian Penal Code states the ‘Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid’ If anyone attempts to throw acid or even attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts by any other means to cause permanent deformity, disability, bums, maims or disfigurement of causing a grievous hurt then the person shall be punished with an imprisonment of not less than five years but may extend to seven years and will also be liable to pay fine.
Explanation 1: Acid has been explained for both the sections, it defines an acid as a substance with the corrosive character or burning nature, which can cause bodily injury which may lead to scars, disfigurement, or permanent or temporary disability.
Explanation 2: It explains for the sections that the permanent or partial disability or deformity is not necessarily required to be irreversible. Section 357B of CrPC Section 357B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 states that the compensation given by the State Government to the victim under Section 357A will be in addition to the fine paid by the criminal to the victim under Section 326A or Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 357C of CrPC Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure orders that all the hospitals be it private or public and whether run by the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies or any other person, have to provide the first aid or the treatment, free of cost for the victims of any offence mentioned or covered under Section 326A, 376, 376A, 376C, 376D or Section 376E of the Indian Penal Code and have to inform about the incident to the police immediately.
Section 100 of IPC extension Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code extension states that: Seventh- This gives the right to a defence that may extend to the death assailant. If any person throws or administers the act of acid or attempts to throw acid then it can cause apprehension or grievous hurt which will be the consequence of his act and will amount to private defence.
The above amendments and sections inserted were done after the recommendation of the committee of J.S. Verma and it was propped by the 226th Report of Law Commission of India which focused particularly on acid attacks.