India

HC directs fast disposal of sexual harassment, acid attack cases

13 Jun 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Uttarakhand HC frames guidelines for acid attack cases

The Uttarakhand HC has directed all courts in the state to hear cases of acid attack, sexual harassment, stalking and voyeurism daily and dispose them of in three months.

"In case it's not possible to conclude within three months, reasons shall be recorded," it said.

The direction came as the HC was hearing a 2009 case when a Roorkee girl was attacked with acid.

In context: Uttarakhand HC frames guidelines for acid attack cases

13 Jun 2017HC directs fast disposal of sexual harassment, acid attack cases

GuidelinesGuidelines on compensation, investigation, protection for witnesses

The HC issued norms for the government: it is to ensure "investigation is completed within seven days under the supervision of a gazetted officer".

The government should "provide protection to eye-witnesses during pendency of the trial" in such cases.

A 'Criminal Injuries Compensation Board' has to be formed within four weeks, and acid attack victims be paid Rs. 1L apart from monthly compensation.

Love India news?
Stay updated with the latest happenings.
The psychology behind acid attacks

PsychologyThe psychology behind acid attacks

Acid attacks are rarely carried out with the intent to kill; the purpose is to force the victim to live a life of trauma, disfigurement and suffering.

In South Asia, where such crimes are common, the traditional orthodox mentality assumes women as the weaker sex, who are supposed to demurely accept demands of the men.

StatsAcid attack a severe problem in South Asia, particularly India

Acid attacks are very common in South Asia, including India, where despite strict laws, such chemicals are available easily.

Number of cases increased from 83 in 2011 to 349 in 2015, and these are only the recorded cases.

For the 85% of victims who are women, personal revenge is the primary factor, mostly retribution for rejected advances.

Acid saleAcid being sold openly despite stringent laws

Over-the-counter sale of acid is allowed only when the seller maintains a log of the customers and amount sold. Potential buyers have to furnish identity proof and purpose of purchase.

No one under the age of 18 can buy such substances.

However, the Delhi Commission for Women found in November 2016 that acid was being openly sold in shops despite an SC ban.