Author’s Note: This blog is focused on merely explaining the essentials of Acid Attack and Attempt to Acid Attack under Section 326A and 326B of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 provides for amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act on laws related to sexual offences. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2nd April 2013 and is deemed to have come into force from 3rd February 2013.
Sections 326A and 326B fall under Chapter 16 of Indian Penal Code which talks about offences affecting the human body. Section 326A of IPC talks about voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc whereas Section 326B deals with voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid. The basic difference between section 326A and 326B of IPC is the cause of actual injury to the victim. Under Section 326A the offender is successful in hurting the victim whereas under Sec. 326B the offender only throws or attempts to throw acid, without being able to hurt the intended victim.
Section 326A is a cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.
Elements of 326A
- The offender must voluntarily cause permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or burns or maims or disfigures or disables, any part or parts of the body of the victim or causes grievous hurt to her.
- It must be done by throwing acid on or by administering acid to the victim, or by using any other means.
- The offender should act with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt.
He shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and with fine. Such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment of the victim and shall be paid to the victim.
Elements of 326B
- The offender must voluntarily throw or attempt to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means.
- It is done with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage or deformity or burns or maiming or disfigurement or disability or grievous hurt to that person.
He shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation 1 to Sec. 326B states that for the purposes of section 326A and 326B, “acid” includes any substance which has acidic or corrosive character or burning nature, that is capable of causing bodily injury leading to scars or disfigurement or temporary or permanent disability.
Explanation 1 to Sec. 326B states that for the purposes of section 326A and 326B, permanent or partial damage or deformity shall not be required to be irreversible.