The long drawn battle of the Supreme Court of India to categorize acid as poison and criminal has finally seen day’s light as the centre gave its nod to put acid in the serious category of being poisonous. This revolutionary decision came after strong oppositions from all political and social corners, accompanied with continuous coaxing from the apex court, which realized the urgency and seriousness of this dreadful crime way back, before it became a regular headline grabber. The ages-old Poisons Act 1919 umbrellas all sorts of poisons and acid and other corrosive items have been placed under this act to be considered poison. This stringent law was passed in the wake of alarming increase in incidents of acid attacks by spurned lovers and stalkers who don’t have the courage to face rejection. Lack of existence of groundbreaking laws encourage such psychopaths to ruin the physical appearance of a girl, hence scarring her confidence deeply, which takes an unending support from family and friends to be rebuilt.
The scenario before this law was so bad that this corrosive liquid was easily available in markets for a mere 30 Rs or so, without the shopkeepers keeping a check or questioning the purpose of the purchase. What is more shocking is the fact that person of any age group could go and buy this toxic liquid making it all the more dangerous! The pitiful condition of our law system injects shamelessness and a sense of ‘i-can-do-it-all’ in the minds of such criminals which needs to be checked with a tough law breaking the spines of these psycho-neurotic!
Despite the fact that the Poisons Act 1919 is not avant-garde, it is still revolutionary in every sense of the word. Under this law, limited and government recognized dealers will be allowed to sell these corrosives. Anyone buying acid will be bound to present his/her valid identity proof, residential address, contact number, and the purpose and reason for buying the corrosive as a security measure to keep a tab of buyers for future reference. It has been made mandatory for sellers to sell diluted acid which is not harmful or fatal for human skin, curbing the possibility of obtaining acid by fake identity proof. Acids of high intensity corrosive content like hydrochloric acid, nitric acid etc will be sold in the most diluted form that it causes no harm to humans.
Though the law is in its initial stages with the solicitor general Mohan Parasaran working on recommendations by the Supreme Court, it is a welcome change and a breather for girls living under constant fear of any such attack. It has already been implemented in Maharashtra Kerela, Karnataka and Haryana with other states in the pipe line.All this has sketched a rosy picture of our law system but what needs to be seen is the implementation because this is where all the laws of our constitution fail. Making laws is not enough to curb growing crime rates, implementation is equally important as this acts as a deterrent for criminals. Let’s hope this law comes out of paper and works on changing the bigger picture!
Image Source : IANS