Acid Attacks And Related Laws In India

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An acid attack is one of the most horrendous types of assault. Acid attacks have been alarmingly increasing in India, especially among women. Acid attack is one of the most heinous forms of violence. It may be unknown, yet it is very frequent in South Asia. The nations that experience the most acid attacks include Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The victim's arms, face, and other body parts are badly damaged and disfigured as a result of this attack. 

The rate of acid attacks against women has significantly increased in recent years, and the substances employed are sulfuric acid, which has been freely marketed on the market for many years. In recent years gender-based violence has increased tremendously. 

Based on statistics, there is a huge growth in acid attack cases. In the year 2000, 174 cases of acid attack were reported in India. The acids have a catastrophic effect on human flesh. To curb the growth of acid attack cases it was high time for the government to insert sections 326 A and 326 B in the Indian Penal Code. These two sections talk about the grievous heart caused by using acid and voluntarily throwing or trying to throw acid respectively.

Also Read: Supreme Court Judgements

Historical Background of Acid Attack Crime 

The National Crime Reporting Bureau states that acid attacks first appeared in 1975, but that the crime started to escalate in 2002 and expanded widely. In the past, printing was done with acid.

There has been an upsurge in the usage of acid as a weapon in emerging nations, particularly in South Asia. In Bangladesh in 1967, the first known acid assault in South Asia took place. 

Legal Definition of Acid Attack

An acid attack refers to any act in which acid is thrown or used with the knowledge or desire to permanently or partially harm, deform, or disfigure any portion of the victim's body. 

Acid violence is an inhuman crime it refers to the intentional throwing of acid at another person. It is frequently referred to as a crime of honor. 

The National Commission of India defined it as, “Any act of throwing acid or using acid in any form on the victim with the intention of or with the knowledge that such person is likely to cause to the other person permanent or partial damage or deformity or disfiguration to any part of such person's body”. 

Nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid are the three most prevalent types of acids. Throwing such an acid rarely results in a person's death, but it does cause significant, permanent physical and psychological harm. The majority of acid abuse victims are women and children, and assailants frequently target the head and face to permanently disabling, disfigure, and blind a victim, pushing her into an unending life of suffering and apathy.

Legislative provisions of Acid Attack Crime 

Earlier No clear measures were in place to punish those responsible for the acid attack in India. The defendants were found guilty of crimes involving corporal punishment under Sections 320, 322, 325, or 326 of the Indian Penal Code. Creating extra measures for the victims of the acid attack

The Indian Penal Code, of 1860 was amended in 2013 by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, adding Sections 326A and Section 326B. Section 326A of the Indian Penal Code was introduced by the 18th Law Commission, which was led by Justice A.R. Lakshaman.


Anyone who, with the knowledge or intent to cause injury or injury, throws acid and causes serious injury, burns or disables any portion of a person's body, or causes permanent or partial injury. Sentence of 10 years (not less than ten years but can be up to life in prison with a fine. 

Any chemical that is caustic in nature might be referred to as "acid." It could be a combustible substance. It should be capable of causing a person's disfigurement or impairment, either temporarily or permanently. 


  • Acid throwing, attempting to throw, or administering 
  • Causing great distress 
  • Permanent or partial damage is caused (burns, maims, disfigures, or disablement) 
  • This is a cognizable offense nonbailable offense.


Anyone who throws or attempts to throw acid at a person or attempts to throw acid at someone) person.  Five-year sentence (possibly up to seven years and possibly fine).


Recognition of the need for laws in Acid Attacks: 

The number of cases increased, and this set the legal system in motion. Following the recommendations given by the Justice J.S. Verma Committee and the 226th Law Commission Report, special rules addressing offenses including acid attacks were introduced. 

Before the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, which included the elements of acid attacks as new charges, it was published as an Ordinance by the President of India in response to the 2012 Delhi Gang Rape protests. Because of the necessity to create new offenses against women, the acid attack became a crime under the Ordinance, which was later included in the Amendment Act.

Along with the provisions under Sections 326A and 326B, the Amendment Act, 2013 also inserted an additional clause under Section 100 which provided an exception from criminal liability by granting a right of private defence extends to cause the death of a person who has committed an act of throwing or administering acid or an attempt to throw or administer acid. 

Judicial provision Related To Acid Attacks


Laxmi Acid Attack Case:

In a landmark case, Laxmi c. Union of India 2015 in this case the lawsuit filed by Laxmi (victim of acid) drives a campaign against preventing attacks.

 Brief background about the case the victim at the age of 15 was attacked by three men when she refused to marry a 32-year-old she suffered from immense trauma add physical injuries the victim wasn't provided with any financial help by the government for her treatment she had gone through more than seven surgeries her attackers were charged with the attempt to murder section 307 punishment for criminal conspiracy section 120 B due to lack of separate provision of the offense acid attack they were charged under section 320 for grievous hurt "Grievous" hurt and Section 325 for punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt: A person who intentionally causes severe injury, except in the cases specified in Article 335 (Intentionally causing serious injury due to provocation), shall be punished by imprisonment of any kind, which may be extended to a maximum of 7 years, and will incur a fine as well as section 326 causing grievous hurt voluntarily for dangerous weapons or means of the IPC 1860.

 The quantum of punishment awarded to them was insufficient for the average amount of drama and damage cost to her physically. The petitioner here pleaded for proper provision to be framed to monitor the availability and sale of acid in the market restrictions shall be imposed on the sale and purchase of acid by anyone and everyone.

 Secondly, legislation should be named along with amendments to existing laws in IPC, CrPC, and The Indian Evidence act to include acid attacks as a separate offense thirdly a strict quantum of punishment should be awarded to the offenders of acid attacks as well as fair compensation should be provided to the victims. In this case, the Apex Court issued an acid regulation directive to the state and UT. 

The court also deals with the issue of compensation. The Supreme Court held that section 357A of this section supports the preparation of a financial plan to compensate the victim or his dependents who have suffered loss or injury. crime and those in need of rehabilitation.  

Apex court ordered that victims of acid attacks must be compensated by the state/UT government concerned at least Rs 3 lac. however, the compensation is not enough for the victim because the victim of an assault acid fair will suffer a few full-body wounds for a lifetime. Apart from the verdict the court also gave a few directions firstly, the victim shall be provided with 3 lacs minimum compensation. Secondly, the hospitals are not allowed to turn their back on treating a victim the medical facilities shall not be denied. Thirdly, the very priority shall be first aid. fourthly, treatment both state and central government should make efforts to streamline the private hospitals as well into treating the victims of acid attack

Ankur Panwar Acid Attack Case

State of Maharashtra vs. Ankur Panwar the case is also known as the Preeti Rathi case same a special women’s court here sentenced Ankur Panwar to death the defendant was found guilty of throwing acid on Preeti Rathi at Bandra station in 2013 after she chose to pursue a career in nursing rejecting his marriage proposal in the same special judge Anju s Shinde said According to the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the facts of the case and the recent acid attack judgments by the Supreme Court, the accused to death.


Compensation awarded to acid attack victims: 

In India, the victim of the crime may receive compensation. Indian National Commission for Women (NCW) has also taken up the task of assisting acid attack victims with rehabilitation and relief. They have suggested creating the National Acid Victim Assistance Board in a draught bill titled "Prevention of Offenses (by Acids) Act, 2008."

The Commission has put out its legislation to address acid attacks, and as part of that legislation, it has advised that a National Council be established by the federal government to support victims. Support for acid attack victims is provided by the provision of medical care as well as other services like psychological counseling. Compensation for the victims of Acid Attacks the minimum and maximum amount are as follows:

  • In the case where there is disfigurement of the face 7 lakh to 8 lakh
  • In cases where there is an injury of more than 50% 5 lakh to 8 lakh
  • In cases where the injury is less than 50% 3 lakhs to 8 lakhs
  • In case of injury less than 20% then 3 lakhs to 4 lakhs

To Sum It Up

The victims are mostly supported by the general public and NGOs when it comes to treatment till their rehabilitation. Despite years of modification, there is still a long way to go until there is a proper care system in place for the victims, even though strong legislation has been written. Positively, the number of acid attack incidents from 2018 has decreased, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs.