Query: I work for the rehabilitation of the acid victims with an NGO. I have heard about the acid crime prevention law, but don't have a clear idea. Would you please let me know about this law?
Md. Mahfuzur Rahman
Response: Thank you for your query. To let you know, prior to 2002 there was no separate legal framework to prevent and control acid offences. In 2002, the Parliament enacted two Acts to combat acid violence.
The Acid Control Act 2002 was introduced to control the import, production, transportation, hoarding, sale and use of acid, prevent misuse of acid as corrosive inflammatory substance and to provide treatment to victims of acid violence, rehabilitate them and provide legal assistance. If a person is involved in unlicenced production, import, transport, storage, sale and use acid and infringes any sections of this Act, he/she will be imprisoned for 3-10 years rigorous imprisonment and additionally liable to pay a fine not exceeding BDT 50,000. According to the Act, the government is the licencing authority for import and production of acid, and the Deputy Commissioner is the lecencing authority for transport, storage, sale and use of acid in order to control it. This Act requires the licence holders to keep records in relation to all acid use. In case the acid victim is not financially solvent, she or someone on her behalf can apply to the District Acid Control Committee (DACC) for legal aid.
The Acid Offence Prevention Act 2002 is enacted to control acid crimes. There are various punishments depending on the parts of the body affected by acid. If any person causes death of any other person by acid or causes hurt to any other person in such a way that her/his eyesight or hearing power is lost fully or partially or face, breast or sexual organ is defaced or destroyed, such person will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for life and in addition shall also be liable to fine not exceeding BDT 1,00,000. Damage or disfigurement of any other organ, ligament or part of the body will result in 7-14 years of rigorous imprisonment and also with a fine not exceeding BDT 50,000.
Punishment for attempt to throw acid may extend from 3 to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment and also with a fine not exceeding BDT 50,000 even if no damage or injury is caused. Furthermore, if someone assists to commit the offence of acid throwing, he/she will receive the same punishment as the perpetrators.
The offences under the Acid Offence Prevention Act 2002 are non-bailable. As per the said Act, if any person lodges any false case or complaint, he/she will be punished with rigorous imprisonment for not more than 7 years and in addition also be liable to fine. The offences under this Act will be tried in the Acid Offence Control Tribunal.
I hope the aforesaid elaboration shall help you to understand the relevant laws.
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