Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Justice J.S.Verma Committee on Acid Attacks

அமிலத் தாக்குதலுக்கு உள்ளாகி காரைக்காலைச் சேர்ந்த  வினோதினி உயிரிழந்துள்ளார்.அந்தக் கொடுமையைச் செய்தவன் மட்டுமின்றி அவனுக்கு உடந்தையாக இருந்தவர்களும் கைது செய்யப்பட்டுத் தண்டிக்கப்படவேண்டும்.

ஒரு பெண்ணின்மீதான வன்கொடுமைத் தாக்குதல்களில் அமிலத் தாக்குதல் என்பது மிகவும் குரூரமானதாகும். அமிலத் தாக்குதல் குறித்து  கடந்த வாரம் உச்சநீதிமன்றம் ஆணை ஒன்றைப் பிறப்பித்துள்ளது. ஆறு  வாரங்களுக்குள் அனைத்து மாநில தலைமைச் செயலாளர்களையும் கூட்டி  அமிலத் தாக்குதல்களைக் கட்டுப்படுத்துவதற்கான நடவடிக்கைகளையும் , அதனால் பாதிக்கப்படுவோருக்கு அளிக்கப்படவேண்டிய உதவிகள்  குறித்தும் விவாதித்து சிறப்பு சட்டம் ஒன்றை கொண்டுவருமாறு அந்த ஆணையில் உச்சநீதிமன்றம் மத்திய அரசை அறிவுறுத்தியுள்ளது.

அமிலத் தாக்குதல் குறித்து அண்மையில் தாக்கல் செய்யப்பட நீதிபதி ஜே .எஸ் . வர்மா கமிட்டி அறிக்கையில் சொல்லப்பட்டிருப்பது என்ன என்பதை இங்கே படியுங்கள் :

4. We understand that a most heinous form of attack
on women, which is commonplace in several
Asian and African countries, is the throwing of
acid on women for a multitude of reasons,
including alleged adultery, turning down
advances from men, and also as a form of
domestic violence. Acids and other corrosive
substances are thrown on women or administered
to them, thereby causing death or physical and
psychological damage with unfathomable
consequences. The 226th Report of the Law
Commission of India, which dealt particularly
with this offence stated:
“Though acid attack is a crime which can be
committed against any man or woman, it has a
specific gender dimension in India. Most of the
reported acid attacks have been committed on
women, particularly young women for spurning
suitors, for rejecting proposals of marriage, for
denying dowry etc. The attacker cannot bear the fact
that he has been rejected and seeks to destroy the
body of the woman who has dared to stand up to

5. In a certain sense, the aggressor is conscious that
self-worth and self-esteem of a woman often lies in
her face, which is a part of her personality. The
dismemberment of the face or the body is not
merely an offence against the human body but will
cause permanent psychological damage to the
victim. What happens when there is permanent
physical and psychological damage to a victim, is
a critical question and law makers have to be
aware that offences are not simply based on the
principle of what might be called offence against
the body, i.e., damage of the body, but they must
take into account the consequences on the right to
live with dignity which survives the crime. This is
an important consideration both in the fields of
criminology and also in the field of sociology.

6. The Law Commission studied instances of acid
attacks and also laws to deal with the offence in
various countries including Australia, Bangladesh,
Cambodia, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Italy,
Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Sri
Lanka, Uganda, UK, USA and Vietnam. However,
the incidence in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan,
Cambodia and Uganda are much higher and are
on the rise. The Bangladesh Government therefore
enacted a law called the Acid Offences Prevention
Act, 2002. The Law Commission after examining
the law in various jurisdictions, came to the
conclusion that a separate Act should be proposed
for dealing with compensation to victims of acid
attacks, rape, sexual assault, kidnapping.

7. Traditionally, the offence is dealt with under
Section 326 of the IPC which deals with
‘Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerousweapons or means’.
This provision also deals with
causing grievous hurt using ‘corrosive substances’
which include acids.

8. In fact in Sachin Jana Vs. State of West Bengal104, a
case involving acid attack which had caused
disfigurement of the victim, the Supreme Court
applied Section 307 IPC (Attempt to murder) read
with Section 34 on the basis that to justify a
conviction under Section 307 it was not essential
that ‘bodily injury capable of causing death was
inflicted’. The Section made a distinction between
the act of the accused and its result. Therefore it
was not necessary that the injury actually caused
to the victim should be sufficient under ordinary
circumstances to result in death. The court is only
required to see whether the act, irrespective of its
result, was done with the intention or knowledge
mentioned in Section 307. It was sufficient if there
was intent coupled with an overt act in execution
thereof. The Supreme Court in this case, also relied
upon the decision in State of Maharashtra Vs.

9. The gender specificity and discriminatory nature
of this offence does not allow us to ignore this
offence as yet another crime against women. We
recommend that acid attacks be specifically
defined as an offence in the IPC, and that the
victim be compensated by the accused. However
in relation to crimes against women, the Central
and State governments must contribute substantial
corpus to frame a compensation fund. We note
that the existing Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill,
2012, does include a definition of acid attack.


103 ‘Proposal for the inclusion of acid attacks as specific offences in the
Indian Penal Code and a law for compensation for victims of crime’, Law
Commission of India, July 2008 at p. 3.

104 (2008) 3 SCC 390

105 (1983) 2 SCC 28

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