Stricter punishment for 'acid attack': Govt to SC

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New Delhi, Jul 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court was today informed by the Central government that suitable amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were underway to make punishment for the offence of 'acid attack' more stringent and guarantee adequate compensation to the victim.

Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran told the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal that the Union Home Ministry had convened a conference of home secretaries of all the states and union territories on July 7 at Vigyan Bhavan to discuss the issue of amending the law.

According to the Central government, most of the state governments and union territories were in favour of induct new section 326 A IPC, making the offence of acid attack punishable with a minimum sentence of ten years, extendable to life imprisonment while attempt to throw acid would carry minimum sentence of seven years and a minimum fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The states, however, opposed the proposed ban on free sale of acid in the market on the grounds that the same was not feasible since acid was needed for many purposes in and around the households.

According to the Government, licensing of the sale of acid would lead to 'Inspector Raj'.

The Government is also actively considering suitably amending section 357 of the CrPC for deciding the compensation adequate for rehabilitation of the victim.

The Central government also informed the apex court that the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Union Home Ministry had made several recommendations on the issue, some of which were accepted, while others were not accepted by the Government.

The apex court, however, adjourned the hearing so that Union Government gets enough time to complete consultation process.

The information was conveyed to the Supreme Court on a writ petition filed by one minor girl, Laxmi , who herself was a victim of such attack.

UNI SC GT BD1719

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