AP mulls ordinance to deal with acid attack offenders
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Last Updated: Friday, September 25, 2009, 15:29
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government will soon promulgate an ordinance for treating acid attack as a serious offence and punishing the guilty with a minimum jail term of three years.

State Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters here on Friday that another ordinance too would be brought in amending Section 509 of Indian Penal Code, thereby making it a non-bailable offence.

The state Cabinet approved these ordinances at its meeting yesterday, the Home Minister said today.

The government's decision to enact ordinances came in the wake of rise in number of acid attacks on women in recent days. The new legislation would also deal with attacks on women in general apart from acid attacks, the Home Minister said.

In fact, the government proposed to enact a legislation in the Budget session of state Legislature last month incorporating a new provision in the Indian Penal Code for treating acid attack as a "special crime" with harshest punishment.

Besides, some provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act were proposed to be suitably amended to support the amendment in the IPC.

The government had failed to enact the legislation in the Budget session and is hence forced to bring in ordinances.

As per the original proposal of the government a new Section 326-A was to be incorporated in the IPC for treating acid attacks as a special crime with punishment ranging up to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs five lakh.

Hitherto, the accused in such cases were being booked under Section 326 of IPC (causing grievous hurt) that has a maximum punishment of a five-year jail term.

AP State Human Rights Commission chairman Justice B Subhashan Reddy suggested to the state government that a new provision Section 326-A be incorporated in the IPC to deal exclusively with acid attack cases.

An amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure making it binding on the prosecution (government) to obtain prior consent from an acid attack victim for withdrawing such a case was also mooted.

Another amendment would enable the court to award an interim compensation of Rs two lakh to the acid attack victim if the case has been prima facie established.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 25, 2009, 15:29

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