Proposal to the Government to tackle acid attack menace
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 @ 2:28PM
Following are proposals involving the aspects of treatment and rehabilitation of the victim, punishment and justice and prevention of this serious menace.
- Bring in strong regulation on the sale of acids to the general public, such that concentrated acids are not accessible at counters for anybody at meagre cost.
- Seek the support of companies manufacturing acid to bring in an industry-supported protocol that will minimize the negative impact of acids on society. These would include promoting responsible behaviour regarding the safe-handling, storage, labeling, stock-taking, transfer and disposal of acids by manufacturers, distributors, traders and business and individual users.
- The first aid treatment given to an acid attack victim in the time immediately after the acid attack is crucial. Issue a Health Ministry document on the immediate first-aid required to be given to victims of acid attacks at every Health center. Private and Government Health centers should be equipped to provide the first aid required to neutralize the acids immediately to prevent further corrosion of the body.
- Acid attack victims must not be refused first aid in a private hospital.
- Upgradation of medical infrastructure to treat the victims of acid attack.
- Focus on improving our healthcare system infrastructure to treat acid attack victims. Develop our own team of specialists for reconstructive surgeries. The healthcare system must be adequately staffed with nutritionists and counselors to facilitate the recovery process and re-integration into society. These long-term medical procedures must be provided to the victims free of cost.
- The government must ensure rehabilitation of the victim economically through sustainable employment opportunity.
- A Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, as recommended by the Supreme Court and the 226th Law Commission Report and the National Commission for Women must be constituted and must ensure adequate and timely compensation.
- Ensure the attacker is placed under a financial obligation to contribute to a common Victims Assistance Fund, from his existing and future properties.
- Bring in a law to deal with the specific problem of acid attacks. Let the punishment be a minimum of rigorous imprisonment for at least 10 years, if not life. Perpetrators of such crimes deserve no sympathy, no bail and no parole. They deserve the harshest sentence for such a cruel act.
- Introduce Section 114 B in the Evidence Act so that the presumption in an acid attack is an obvious intention to do grave harm. Once there is no doubt about the identity of the attacker, speed up the trial process by shifting the onus of disproving ‘intention to commit crime’ on the defense.
- Introduce punishment for intentional acid attacks, even if no injuries occur. Such an attacker deserves no less than 5 years, which may be extended to 7 years.
- Introduce specialized police cells for preventive policing and investigations. Ensure gender-sensitized police officers.
- Ensure that punishment is given swiftly. Ensure prosecutions are professionalized to minimize acquittals.
- Lok Satta Party places these proposals before the Hon’ble Chief Minister, the Hon’ble Health Minister, the Hon’ble Industries Minister and the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, for appropriate action.
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