On 2 February 2017, Telangana lawmakers approved an amendment to the Poisons Act, 1919. The amendment increased punishments for acid attacks.
The changes are described in three additional Sections added to the Act:
- Section 6(A) – A police inspector or Munsif Magistrate will be authorised to investigate these cases;
- Section 6(B) – punishment for convicted increased to a minimum of 10 years and maximum of life imprisonment;
- Section 6(C) – the cases will be cognisable and non-bailable.
The amendment also explains fines to be paid by the perpetrator which will be equal to expenditure incurred by the victims for treatment. Following its passing in the Telangana Assembly, the State will send it to the President for his approval.
Before this, the punishment under Section 6 was a jail term of three months and a fine of Rs. 500 for the first offence and a jail term of six months and Rs. 1,000 for any subsequent offence.
A result of an SC observation
In 2013, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and the States to come up with more stringent action against perpetrators of acid attacks. At the time, the SC was dealing with a petition by an acid attack survivor who wanted an end to such incidents.
The Logical Indian take
The Logical Indian applauds the Telangana government for its strict action against acid attack convicts. It will go a long way in giving victims justice and spreading awareness about acid attacks in India. We request other states to follow in Telangana’s footprints and pass strict measures and find ways to eliminate instances of acid attacks.