UTTARAKHAND HIGH COURT HAD ISSUED DIRECTIONS OF VICTIMS OF ACID ATTACKS

In Roorkee, there was an acid attack on a twenty-year-old postgraduate student. The High Court of Uttarakhand refused to take a merciful view on the sentence awarded to the convict and stated the following:

“We are of the considered view that no lenient view can be taken, taking into consideration the circumstances, in which the acid was thrown on the helpless victim.”

The case was under the bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Sharma. The bench has sentenced the accused to be imprisoned for ten years and has to pay fine of rupees ten thousand and pay compensation to the victim of rupees five lakhs. The state government of Uttarakhand has to give fine of rupees three lakhs to the victim within four weeks. The case has gone through appeal. First, the case was heard before the Session Court of Rurkee and they had taken the very hyper-technical view so in the judgment the High Court of Uttarakhand has aside from the judgment of the lower court and convicted the accused under the section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. This section state that whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty or murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. Attempts by life convicts- When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.[1]

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The court had issued mandatory directions to control the instances of the acid attacks. The directions are following:

  • The State Government is directed to constitute a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for the acid attack victims, within a period of four weeks

  • All the private hospitals throughout the State of Uttarakhand are directed to provide medical assistance to the acid attack victims

  • There shall not be any sale of acid over the counter to any individual throughout the State of Uttarakhand except from one licensed dealer to another or by a licensed dealer to any school or college or to any research or medical institution or hospital or dispensary under a registered medical practitioner or any recognized public institution or industrial firm. It is also made clear that if any person is found unauthorizedly selling the acid, a FIR shall also be registered against him.

  • the Senior Superintendents of Police, throughout the State of Uttarakhand, are directed to ensure prompt registration of FIR in the offenses pertaining to Sections 326A, 326B, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D of I.P.C. In all such matters, the investigations hall is completed within seven days, under the supervision of the Gazetted Officer, and thereafter, the Challan shall be put up in the competent criminal court within seven days. The Gazetted Officer shall be personally held liable in case of a defective

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  • The cases pertaining to sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism and acid burning are required to be fast tracked. The Trial Courts throughout the State of Uttarakhand are directed to hear the cases registered under Sections 326A, 326B, 354A, 354B, 354C and 354D of Indian Penal Code on day to day basis and conclude the trial within three months and in case, it is not possible to conclude the trial within three months, cogent and sufficient reasons shall be recorded by the Trial Court.

  • The state government has to provide protection to the eye witnesses during the trial of the case registered under the section 326A, 326B, 354A, 354B, 354C and 354D of the Indian Penal Code.

  • The state government has to be included in the category of physically challenged persons in the case of reservation in public employment and a separate scheme for their rehabilitation.

  • The state government has to ensure that every district hospital and joint hospital and there shall be specialized ward is provided in the cases pertaining to burn injuries to avoid infection within three months.

  • The state government has to provide free medical aid to the victims of acid attacks till full recovery.

  • The State Government is directed to grant ex-gratia payment of rupees one lakh to acid attack victims immediately after the registration of FIR and also to pay a sum of rupees seven thousand per month to the victims who have received third/fourth degree burns injuries. The State is also directed to pay a sum of rupees five thousand per month, in those cases, where the burns injuries are of first degree and second degree. The victims are also entitled to a sum of rupees three lakhs.

The first two directions and last direction was given by the Supreme Court in the case of Laxmi v. Union of India.\[2]

 

END NOTES

[1] Indian Penal Code, 1860.

[2] (2016) 3 SCC 669.

 

By:

Shriya Paruthi

B.A.LLB, Energy Laws, 2nd year, College of Legal Studies, UPES.

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