This article is written by Sukhmandeep Singh, a law student at the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. This article seeks to explain the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, related to acid attacks, the sale of acids, and the various degrees of punishment prescribed for the offence of acid attack in India. This article also sheds light on provisions related to the non-registration of cases of acid attacks, compensation to the victims, and famous case laws that led to various amendments to the acid attack laws of India. Moreover, this article also explains the significance of the NALSA (Legal Services to Victims of Acid Attacks) Scheme, 2016.
It has been published by Rachit Garg.
Table of Contents
One of the most horrific violent crimes in human history is an acid attack. We may not realise it, but it is very common in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Acid has been used in metallurgy and etching activities since ancient times. In the year 1879, 16 acid attack cases were recorded under the name “Crimes of Passion,” the majority of which were committed by a woman against another woman. In South Asia, the first case of acid attack came to light in Bangladesh in 1967, India in 1982, and Cambodia in 1993. These countries recorded the highest number of acid attack incidences over the last couple of years.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recorded 1483 cases between 2014 and 2018 in their report, indicating a rapid growth rate. According to NCRB data, there were 150 similar instances in 2019, 105 in 2020, and 102 in 2021. Year after year, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh account for roughly half of all the cases in the country. In 2021, the charge sheeting rate for acid attacks was 89% with a 20% conviction rate. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a recommendation to all the states in 2015, asking them to speed up the court procedure in cases of acid attacks. Many steps have been taken since 2013, including the inclusion of special provisions dealing with acid attacks, but the number of cases persists at a similar rate. Many acid attack cases still go unreported, which leads to injustice not only towards the victim but also towards society at large, as it is not only a small crime but a crime that endangers the life of the victim even if he/she survives.
Due to an acid attack, the victim experiences discrimination from society for the rest of his or her life. It also has an impact on the social, economic, and psychological lives of the individual. The victims of acid attacks are unable to work due to their deformities, making it impossible for them to live in a society in a normal manner. In rare circumstances, their own family also abandons them, resulting in the victim’s emotional breakdown. So we can infer that there are numerous consequences other than those affecting the physical body alone. Let us discuss it in detail.
What is an acid attack
According to research conducted by UNICEF, acid attacks are a major issue all around the world. The crime of acid attack is also known as “acid throwing.” In an acid attack, acid is thrown over someone’s face in order to cause a burn on the face. This is because the face is the part of the body that is usually not covered. Most of the time, the motive behind throwing acid is to torture, maim, disfigure, or kill the victim. According to the data available, women make up the vast majority of acid attack victims. Nitric, sulphuric, and hydrochloric acids are majorly used in acid attacks. When these kinds of attacks are committed, the motive of the offender is not to kill the victim but to disfigure the body of the victim and put the victim in immense pain, and the recovery might be very difficult. 78% of acid attacks are caused by the rejection of a love proposal or a refusal to marry, though there are many other causes too, which include personal hatred, the assumption or knowledge of extramarital affairs of husband/ wife, etc.
An acid attack is legally defined under Section 326A IPC. It provides that any person who causes injury to the victim, either permanently or partially, by throwing acid is guilty of an acid attack. The injury due to an acid attack is usually deformity of the victim’s body or maiming. Maiming is an injury to a body part that is so harsh that the affected organ can no longer be used. Disfigurement, disablement, and the burning of body parts are also some of the injuries caused by acid attacks. It is important that, while throwing acid, the offender must have had the knowledge and intent to cause such an injury as mentioned above.
For the sake of this section, “acid” has been referred to as any substance that is acidic or corrosive in character and also has a burning quality to it. This substance is also quite capable of causing permanent or temporary scars over the body parts along with causing disfigurement or disablement of the body or body parts.
Permanent or partial harm or deformity is not necessary to be irreversible for the purposes of this clause.
Essentials for acid attack
Although even an attempt to throw acid has been made punishable under the Indian Penal Code but there are some essentials of an acid attack which are as follows-
- Acid throwing/ attempting to throw/ administering the acid
- Grievous hurt caused
- Permanent or partial damage caused (maims, burns, disfigures or disablement)
- The offender had the knowledge and intent to carry out this act
So, these are some of the essentials of an acid attack.
Penal provisions dealing with acid attacks in India
Until 2013, acid attacks were not even considered distinct offences under Indian law and were covered under general laws such as punishment for grievous hurt and attempt to murder. But with changing times and increasing cases of acid attacks, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 was passed, which changed the situation in India regarding acid attack laws. Sections 326A and 326B were added to the Indian Penal Code, 1860. These are special provisions for acid attack cases.
Although Sections 326A and 326B were enacted in 2013, there were some other provisions available for victims to get justice too. Some provisions relating to compensation for acid attack victims were also present in different statutes, but these provisions were not specially drafted for the crime of acid attack. So, a need was felt to draft provisions, especially for the acid attack cases, and Sections 326A and 326B came into existence.
Provisions related to acid attacks are as follows-
Section 322 IPC – This Section covers voluntary causing of grievous hurt. This Section provides that if a person causes grievous hurt to any other person or aims at performing such an act that might cause grievous hurt to the victim, and this act is done voluntarily and with the knowledge that the act might cause grievous hurt, then such an act would amount to the voluntary causing of grievous hurt. This Section does not carry any punishment on its own, but Section 325 IPC awards punishment for the act done under Section 322 IPC.
Section 325 IPC – This Section deals with the punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt to any person, as defined under Section 322 IPC. An exception to this Section is laid down under Section 335 IPC (Willingly causing grievous hurt on provocation). So, if anyone voluntarily causes grievous hurt, then that person is liable under this provision.
Section 326 IPC– This Section sometimes might be seen as covering the offence of acid attack, but in reality, it does not cover the offence of acid attack. This Section deals with voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon, but not with acid. The definition of Section 326 is relatively restricted; thus, it does not address the offence of acid attack because:
- It does not include such types of injuries which may arise due to acid throwing by any person, for example, burns on body parts etc.
- This clause does not cover any provision related to the act of managing acid attacks, i.e., purchasing them or preparing for the acid attack.
- This provision does not deal with such a situation if no injuries take place, that is a very big negative of this provision as the gravity of this offence is very high and even an attempt to acid attack should be punishable.
A presumption regarding the acid attack is described under Section 114B of the Indian Evidence Act. According to this Section, if anyone commits the offence of “acid attack,” then as a general presumption, the court will presume that the offender was very well aware of his actions while having enough knowledge and intent that such injury was likely to be caused, as specified/ given under Section 326A of the IPC.
Sections 326A and 326B of the IPC were inserted in 2013 on the recommendation of the Justice Verma Committee.
Section 326A – It deals with grievous hurt caused by the use of acid. According to this Section, if any individual uses acid to cause any injury to the victim, either permanently or temporarily, while having the knowledge that such an act will lead to burns to the body of the victim or will disfigure or disable any limb of such person or is likely to cause any type of grievous hurt, then that person will be liable for an acid attack.
Section 326B- This Section deals with punishment for an attempt to commit an acid attack. According to this Section, even though no injury might be caused, the offender will be held liable if he/ she throws acid or attempts to throw acid on the victim.
Section 307 IPC – This Section deals with the attempt to murder. This Section deals with a situation in which a person performs an act that, if successful, might result in the death of the victim. The act must be done with intention and with the knowledge that it will likely result in the death of the victim. For example- a person X throws a leaking acid bottle at N, but N somehow survives. Later, it is found out that the attack was aimed to kill X then that attack will be covered under this Section. In the acid attack cases, before the drafting of specific clauses, this section was also used where the motive was found to be murder, as it is a very heinous crime.
There have been various cases that led to the applicability of Section 302 IPC in cases relating to acid attacks. Section 302 of the IPC deals with punishment for murder. As per the 226th Law Commission Report, there have been a number of cases where the offender was convicted under Sections 302 and 307 IPC. In the case of Gulab Sahiblal Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra (1988), the victim’s brother-in-law threw acid at the victim (a woman) due to her refusal to give money in order to maintain the second wife of her husband. When the attack took place, the victim was holding her two-and-a-half-year-old baby girl. The victim suffered acid burns on the left side of her body, including her face, breasts, and hand, and her young daughter lost her sight. The woman couldn’t recover from such burns and thus died due to the same. In this case, the Court sentenced the brother-in-law to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1000, as well as harsh imprisonment for a month, under Section 302 of the IPC, but the fine didn’t go to the victim’s daughter under the concerned judgement.
Section 302 IPC is also applicable now if the acid attack results in the victim’s death.
Provisions related to the regulation of acid sales
2013 was the year when initial steps were taken to regulate acid sales in India. Firstly, the Supreme Court observed an increasing number of acid attack cases in the country and felt the need for steps to be taken to control this offence. The Supreme Court issued orders regarding the sale of acids as the first step towards its control. After these orders, the government started working on provisions related to sale regulations. The Ministry of Home Affairs, after due diligence, started providing guidance to states on ways to control the sale of acid. The Model Poisons Possession and Sale Rules, 2013, were made under the parent Act- the Poisons Act of 1919. Some of the key features of these guidelines and normas are listed here-
- The selling of acid over the counter (without a valid prescription) was prohibited unless the seller kept a logbook/ register noting the information related to the sale of acid. This logbook was also supposed to include information about the person to whom the acid was sold, the quantity sold, the individual’s address and the reason for buying the acid by the buyer.
- The sale will also be conducted only if the customer presents a photo ID proving that he or she is over the age of 18 i.e. he/ she is a major.
- Sellers must also disclose all acid stocks with the competent Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) within 15 days and also in the case of undeclared acid stock. For a violation of any of the directives, the SDM has the authority to seize the stock as well as levy a fine of up to Rs 50,000.
- According to these guidelines, educational institutions, research laboratories, hospitals, government agencies and departments of Public Sector Undertakings are required to preserve and store acid and also must keep a register of acid usage and file it with the appropriate SDM.
- A person shall be held accountable for the possession and safekeeping of acid on their premises, according to the rules. The acid must be stored under such supervision that students, workers leaving laboratories or places of storage where acid is utilised must be checked.
So these were some of the guidelines put forward by MHA. As the topic falls under the authority of states, the MHA also asked states to formulate their own guidelines based on model norms.
Punishment for an acid attack in India
As mentioned above, punishment for an acid attack was earlier awarded under different provisions of the IPC, but after the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, punishment for the offence of an acid attack is mostly awarded under Sections 326A and 326B of the IPC. All the provisions which award punishment for this offence are given as under-
As per Section 326A IPC, the person who commits an acid attack shall be punished by imprisonment of either kind for a term that must not be less than 10 years, but which may extend to life imprisonment upon the court’s discretion, and a fine.
As per Section 326B IPC, the person who attempts to commit an acid attack shall also be punished with imprisonment of either kind for a period that must not be less than five years but may be extended up to seven years, and a fine, regardless of the nature of the victim’s injuries, will also be imposed.
Besides these 2 main sections dealing with acid attacks, there are some other sections as well that were earlier used to cover this crime, and some of them can be used now depending on the crime committed or the intention of the criminal. Those sections are mentioned below-
As per Section 325 IPC, If any person causes grievous hurt to the victim then the offender will be punished with imprisonment of any kind for a period of up to seven years and also fine would be imposed on him.
Section 307 IPC is also applicable in today’s world, even after 326A and 326B IPC came into force, as it deals with the attempt to murder, which becomes a more serious crime if the attempt is successful. It also deals with mens rea, which means the mental element (intent to murder in Section 307 IPC), which is essential in this Section.
Under Section 307 IPC, a criminal shall be punished with imprisonment of either kind for a period that may extend to ten years as well as a fine, and if such act causes hurt to any person, the criminal shall be liable to either life imprisonment or the punishment as mentioned above. When any person violating this Section is already sentenced to life imprisonment, he may be punished with death if the act causes hurt.
If the acid attack leads to the victim’s death, then the offender would be liable under Section 302 of the IPC. So under this provision, if the act results in the murder of the victim, then the offender will be liable for death or can be punished with life imprisonment and will also be liable for a fine.
So, these are the punishments which could be awarded in case of acid attack is committed.
Provisions for punishment for failure to register crimes against women
We have discussed above the punishments related to the crime of acid attack, which are given under the IPC itself, but there are some other provisions too that deal with punishment for failure to register crimes against women. Statistically, most of the victims of acid attacks are women.
Section 166A of the IPC deals with those public servants who knowingly disobey the law. This Section applied to those public servants who commit any of the following acts —
- Act of disobeying the laws intentionally on the matters relating to the attendance of an individual at a particular place, if such act of seeking attendance is prohibited by law and if public servant still disobey it then this act is covered under this clause. For example, a policeman asks A who is 12 years of age to report at the police station for questioning then the policeman is disobeying the law.
- Act of intentionally disobeying the directions which govern the manner of the investigation as provided by the law. If such disobeying of directions is prejudicial towards any person then this act is covered under this Section.
- do not succeed in recording any information as required under sub-section (I) of Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 in relation to a cognizable offence which is punishable under Section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, Section 354B, Section 370, Section 370A, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D, Section 376E or Section 509.
If any of the above acts are done by a public servant, then he/she must be punished by rigorous imprisonment for a time not less than six months, but it may be extended up to two years. Moreover. A fine may also be levied.
Along with Section 166A, 166B was also added via the same Amendment. Section 166B outlines the penalty that can be imposed if the victims are not treated by the hospitals. Under this Section, if any individual violates the provisions of Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, while being in charge of a hospital, public or private, whether run by the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies, or any other person, that person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine, or both.
Compensation for acid attack victims
Compensation provided by the government and fines imposed on the offenders by law are two of the most important considerations for the victims of acid attacks. Sections 326A and 326B, along with the punishment of imprisonment, also impose fines. According to the law, a fine should be appropriate and reasonable in order to cover the victim’s medical expenses. Along with this, the fine should also be paid directly to the victim in order to save time. Sections 325 and 307 also levy fines on the offender.
As an acid attack is a crime against humanity, there are some provisions that provide for the payment of compensation to the victim along with the fine recovered from the offender.
Based on Supreme Court directions, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed states-
- To ensure that the victims of acid attacks must receive compensation of at least Rs. 3 lakhs (Rs 1 lakh within 15 days and the rest Rs 2 lakhs within 2 months thereafter) from their respective state government/ Union Territory.
- To make such provisions which are needed to provide treatment to acid attack victims for free in any hospital whether it is public or private.
- To set aside 1-2 beds in private hospitals for the treatment of vulnerable acid attack victims who might get discriminated against by hospitals owing to their background.
- To extend social integration programmes for the victims, which might be supported by NGOs to meet victims’ rehabilitative needs.
There are other provisions in CrPC too that deal with compensation for the victims of acid attacks:
- Section 357A of Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC), 1973: This Section deals with the Victim Compensation Scheme. Under this Section, every state government is required to prepare a scheme to provide funds for compensating the victims or his/ her dependents who suffered a loss or injury due to the attack on the victim. The scheme would also provide funds for cases where the victim needs rehabilitation. This scheme was meant to be operated in cooperation with the Central Government. The Section further specifies a detailed procedure for determining the amount of compensation which is to be paid to the victims and which mode of disbursement to be used.
- Section 357B of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973: According to this Section, the compensation provided by the State Government under section 357A is in addition to the victim’s fine under Sections 326A, 376AB, 376D, 376DA and 376DB of the Indian Penal Code.
- Section 357C of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973: This Section deals with the treatment of victims. All the hospitals either public or private, whether run by the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies, or any other person, must immediately provide free first-aid or medical treatment to victims of any offence covered by Sections 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, or 376E of the IPC and must immediately notify the police officer about such incident.
So, these are some of the provisions that deal with compensation for the victims of acid attacks.
Even after the compensation is given to the victim, it would never be enough to cover the damage and let the victim go back to normal life as before. The acid attack worsens the person’s life and has an impact on their social, economic, and psychological well-being. As the majority of the acid attacks are aimed at the victim’s faces, the amount of compensation depends on the concentration of acid present and the time period before the acid is properly rinsed off with water or neutralised with a neutralising agent. So, in any case, compensation can never be enough.
NALSA (Legal Services to Victims of acid attacks) Scheme, 2016
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been formed under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The act’s preamble emphasises that legal services authorities are concerned with the weaker segments of society and have an obligation on them to ensure that no opportunity for achieving justice is denied. The Legal Services to Victims of Acid Attacks Scheme was launched in 2016. Its main objectives are as follows:
- The first objective of this scheme is to improve legal aid services and representation of acid attack victims at national, state, district and taluka levels. This is to be done so that victims can take advantage of various legal provisions as well as available compensation schemes.
- To provide access to proper medical care as well as rehabilitation assistance to the victims.
- To conduct research and document the same to examine various schemes and legislations in order to identify the gaps in schemes and also to work on the needs of the victims.
- To increase the number of panel lawyers, and paralegal volunteers. It also aims at increasing the number of police officers and NGOs.
- This scheme aims at organising training, orientation and sensitization programmes.
- To work on spreading information and creating awareness about the rights of acid attack victims.
Legal Services Clinic
Legal Services Clinics have been set up under the Legal Services Authority (Legal Services Clinics) Regulations, 2011. These regulations will regulate the functioning, records of maintenance, infrastructural facilities, etc., of these clinics. State Legal Services Authorities must set up these clinics in the hospitals where specialized facilities for acid attack victims are available, such as treatment for burns in acid attack victims. These clinics will assign lawyers who will communicate with the victims on a regular basis and help secure proper treatment for the victims.
The appointed paralegals will also provide possible counselling for the victim as well as the family. This is done to bring them out of that traumatic phase of their lives. The paralegals will also help the victim get the certificate of attack from the hospital, which will be useful in order to get compensation from the respective government and other schemes. This is the duty of the paralegal to ensure that victims are able to secure rehabilitative services.
When any Legal Services Clinic is opened, information regarding the same is to be sent to all police stations, government bodies, and NGOs.
Training and Orientation Programme
Under this Act, the task is allocated to State Legal Services Authorities to undertake appropriate training and orientation programmes for paralegals and panel lawyers to teach them how to handle these types of sensitive matters. They will also organise programmes for other associated authorities such as police officers, government officials and medical officers etc.
State Legal Services Authorities must also collaborate with Judicial Academies to undertake training for judicial officers in order to speed up the judicial process and ensure that victims receive proper compensation as well as dignified treatment in a court of law.
Famous acid attack cases
Lakshmi v. Union of India (2015) is about a girl named Lakshmi who was only 16 years old when she was attacked with acid. This attack was motivated by a refusal to accept a marriage proposal. Lakshmi was brave, and in 2006 she filed a PIL in the Supreme Court of India, demanding not only compensation but also the development of new laws and the amendment of current laws in India connected to acid attacks. She requested a complete ban on the sale of acids to common people in markets.
The Supreme Court ruled the case in her favour and directed the Central and State governments to draft legislation on this subject after adequate thought and discussion.
As a result of this important judgement, the Supreme Court completely banned the counter sale of chemicals unless the seller kept a record of the buyer’s addresses and other details, as well as the amount. Dealers can now only sell the chemical after being shown a government-issued photo ID and stating the reason for the purchase. Many steps were taken such as regulation of acid supply, use of acids and rehabilitation of women victims to prevent acid attacks. These steps were taken by passing the Acid Attack and Rehabilitation of Acid Attack Victims Bill, 2017.
In Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India (2015), Parivartan Kendra is the name of an NGO that exercised its constitutional right under Article 32 and filed a writ petition. Despite the judgement in Lakshmi v. Union of India, the concern raised in this case was the deteriorating status of acid attack victims. The complaint was filed following an acid attack on an 18-year-old Dalit girl who had previously been sexually harassed and verbally abused. Four people spilled acid on her face while she was sleeping. Both she and her sister were injured while sleeping together. Medical treatment was delayed, and the family’s expenses were so high that they were in debt. The NGO emphasised issues such as the inadequacy of 3 lakh rupees for sufferers, the necessity of medical efficiency for a speedier recovery, and additional medical incentives such as free check-ups, medication costs, and so on.
The Court ruled that the government had failed to handle the problem of acid attacks despite numerous laws being passed, and inadequate funding is also one of the reasons. Compensation of at least 3 lakh rupees was mandated. Within three months, the victim and her sister were to get ten lakh rupees and three lakh rupees, respectively.
The case law of State of Maharashtra v. Ankur Panwar (2019) concerns a 23-year-old nurse who worked at a Mumbai hospital. The accused approached her for marriage, but she declined because she wanted to advance her career. He couldn’t take the rejection any longer and threw acid at her when she was on the train. She drank a few drops by accident and died as a result. She was admitted to the hospital for a month, but she died. It should be noted that, as it was found to be a particularly exceptional case, it was heard by a Special Court presided over by a female judge, Justice A.S. Shinde. She was surprised that the acid attack was so heinous that the victim died as a result of it. Given the nature of the offence committed, the court felt a deterrent sentence for the accused was necessary in this case. The court sentenced the culprit to death and levied a Rs 5000 fine on the offender which was to be paid to the victim’s parents.
In the 1975 case of Ravinder Singh v. State of Haryana, acid was poured on a woman by her husband for refusing to grant him a mutual consent divorce. The husband was having an extramarital affair. The victim died as a result of extensive acid burns on her face and other parts of her body caused by the attack. The culprit was charged under Section 302 of the IPC. Even though the victim had died, life imprisonment was not awarded. This case was way before 2013, so the present legislation was not applicable at that time.
Law relating to acid attack in Bangladesh
Just like in India, we suffer from the evil of acid attacks, and similarly, our neighbour Bangladesh also suffers from acid attacks. Bangladesh has taken serious steps to curb this evil since 2002. In my opinion, India must take some provisions from Bangladesh’s government’s passed Acts and incorporate them into our own laws or pass some similar Acts such as the Acid Control Act of 2002 and the Acid Crime Prevention Act of 2002. Both of these Acts are passed by the Bangladesh government to fight against this crime. Some of the major features of these Acts are as follows:
- Acid import, export, and sale restrictions.
- The Acid Attack Council Fund has also been created under these Acts which act as a special fund for acid attack victims.
- Provision for prompt and proper medical care of victims
- There has been the establishment of various victim rehabilitation centres under these Acts.
Although no steps could heal the wounds of acid attack victims, taking them would definitely help in the reduction of offences. As citizens, it is our joint responsibility to abolish this societal evil and remove the stigma connected with this crime for the benefit of survivors.
Concluding this topic is very difficult, as this crime is not only a crime against the physical body but also touches beyond the soul of the ordinary person. The victim of an acid attack suffers many long-term consequences. It permanently makes the victim’s life hell, and living in such a society is very difficult. It also permanently terrorises the victim’s mind, and getting back into a normal life remains only a dream. It is extremely difficult for acid attack victims to find work opportunities, marry someone, or even attend school. Society looks at them as if they are not human beings but aliens who will not feel awkward with this kind of behaviour from society. Human is a social being and suffers quite a lot due to misbehaviour of the society in general. Society condemns the victims because of their different looks. Even if they wish to live a regular life in society, no one can guarantee that they will be accepted and respected as normal human beings based on their appearances. According to me, the government must enact more new rules, legislation, and amendments, as well as adopt strict steps to implement these provisions, in order to end this horrible crime. The government should also provide competent medical care and an effective rehabilitation programme for acid attack victims.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the offence covered under Sections 326A and 326B cognizable and bailable offence?
The offences covered under Sections 326A and 326B are cognizable and non-bailable offences.
Under which court the offences covered under Section 326A and 326B be tried?
The offences covered Section 326A and 326B be tried under Sessions Court.
If someone is threatened by someone by acid attack. What he/she can do?
The threatened person must file a preemptive complaint with the nearest police station and, if required, seek protection.
Why cannot acids be completely banned?
Hydrochloric, sulfuric, and nitric acids are the most commonly used acids in attacks. These acids are employed in a variety of industries, including automotive, polish manufacturing, and the medical industry. As a result, it is difficult to completely prohibit them.
Rust-cleaning agents, which could be obtained over the counter at hardware stores in India, were frequently used in acid attacks. However, due to a Supreme Court order, these acids can now only be sold to people who can give a photo ID and register their name and address, creating a paper trail with the seller.
In terms of other alternative sources of acid purchase, there is a favourable connection between higher regulation and a decrease in attacks. This shows that pushing for stronger penalties for acid sales will ultimately serve as a safeguard.
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