Acid attacks are a form of violence against women, where the perpetrator splashes a person or object with acid in order to deface or kill them. Although acid throwing, also known as vitriol age, has been a form of violence known to be committed throughout history, there has been a steep rise in the cases documented in recent years, particularly in certain South Asian countries. Some of this increase has been attributed to better documentation of cases and also to the fact that victims of attacks have begun to report an attack more often. However, there appears to be a substantive increase in the number of acid attacks that are being committed in recent times due to various factors. Acid attacks are seen as one of the most vicious crimes as it causes perpetual suffering to the victim. As acid melts flesh and even the bones of a person, it causes an unparalleled degree of pain to the victim and leaves her mutilated and scarred as well as giving permanent disabilities at times such as blindness.
Instances of acid attacks are no longer a rarity in India. Despite this, there are no specific laws that deal with this heinous crime. Hence, such cases are registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deal with hurt, attempt to murder, murder and grievous hurt by corrosive substances.
In 2000, 174 cases of acid attacks were registered in India, says a study. In Karnataka, 35 such cases were reported from 1999 to 2004.
Laws for Acid Attack: Reasons for Acid Attack and Consequences
The crime of acid attack has a gender dimension in India, with majority of the victims being women. Men who commit these crimes are usually spurned suitors who want to avenge their rejection. Other cases involve denial of dowry by women, robbery and land disputes. The violent crime of acid throwing not only inflicts physical, but also mental injuries on the victim. The long-term consequences of acid attack...