Acid Attacks and Legal Provisions: Basics Explained

Few days back a 17-year-old girl was allegedly attacked with acid by two bike-borne men in Delhi’s Dwarka district area. Following are the legal provisions related to Acid attack incidents.


An acid attack is an act of throwing acid on any person with the intent to cause harm or injury or to kill.

Section 326A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, deals with voluntary causing permanent or partial damage, deformity, disfigures, burns, disables by use of acid.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 inserted Section 326A and Section 326B in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 creating special provisions for the victims of acid attack. The offenders convicted under these sections shall be imprisoned for a minimum sentence of ten years which may increase up to life imprisonment along with fine; that fine should cover the medical expenses incurred by the victim. 326 B titledintentionally throwing or administering acid” where accused shall be liable to a term not less than 5 years extendable to 10 years and with fine up to Rs. 5 Lakh. Both the offences were proposed to be cognizable, non bailable and non-compoundable by nature and be triable by the session court.

Section 375 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): the state governments to draw schemes that provide compensation to those victims of an acid attack that require rehabilitation. This should be done under the guidance of the central government. 

Sub-Section (2) suggests that under the court’s recommendation, the District Legal Services Authority or the State Legal Services Authority (depending upon the case) may decide the amount of compensation that has to be provided.

Further Section 357B of the CrPC clarifies that this compensation mentioned in the predecessor section will be provided in addition to the compensation already provided under Section 326A and Section 326B of the IPC. Section 357C of the CrPC orders all hospitals, of any nature (local, public, private etc.,) to provide the victim with immediate emergency first-aid that is free of cost.

Lakshmi v. Union of India (2015) The Supreme Court gave the  the guidelines; acid should strictly not be sold to anyone who is below the age of majority, i.e. 18 years. A photo identity proof was mandated for those who wanted to purchase acid.


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