[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on physical violence which some readers may find disturbing.]
Survivors of acid attacks have the following rights under the law:
Right to Seek Medical Treatment
A survivor of an acid attack has the right to seek medical treatment in both government and private hospitals. The Supreme Court issued guidelines for acid attack crimes where they said that:
- No hospital or clinic can refuse to treat acid attack survivors citing the lack of specialized facilities.1
- Government and private hospitals have to provide survivors with first-aid and medical treatment free of cost.1
The court has placed the responsibility for the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors on the state government.2 Additionally, it has expected states and union territories to take action against hospitals that refuse to treat acid attack survivors.1
Right to File a Complaint
Acid attack survivors also have the right to file a complaint against the perpetrator. The complaint can also be filed by the survivor’s relative, friend or acquaintance, any person who has witnessed the crime, or any person who comes to know of the crime. To see a list of other persons who can file the complaint, see here.
|The complaint filed is known as a First Information Report (“FIR”). The FIR is a document that contains the information that a police officer fills out when she gets information on the commission of a cognizable offence. To learn how to file an FIR, you can read our explainer on ‘How to file an FIR’.
An FIR can be filed at any police station, regardless of whether it has jurisdiction over the commission of the crime or not. This information will then be transferred to a police station with the requisite jurisdiction. This concept is generally known as a zero FIR. To understand more about zero FIRs, you can read our explainer on ‘Where can FIR be Filed’.
Right to Compensation
Acid attack survivors have the right to seek compensation from the state government. The Victims Compensation Scheme3 that was drafted by the National Legal Services Authority, was approved by the Supreme Court in 2018. It provides for mandatory compensation for survivors of acid attacks as well as sexual crimes including sexual assault, murder, kidnapping etc. Apart from compensation under this scheme, the survivor receives the fine amount that the perpetrator pays for committing the crime which is charged by the Court.4
Various state governments have formed Victim Compensation Schemes for acid attack survivors. Keeping in mind that there is a lack of uniformity in the state schemes, and the amount of compensation specified in most of these schemes is too low, the Supreme Court stated that:
- The minimum amount of Rupees 3 lakh must be provided by the state government to every survivor.5 This is the minimum amount, and the state government can provide a higher amount, where necessary.6
- Any compensation amount must factor in not only the survivor’s physical injuries but also their inability to lead a full life.6
- The Chief Secretary/ Administrator of the state/UT concerned must ensure that this amount is paid.7
To learn more on information on schemes in different states for survivors of violence, contact details of one-stop centres, protection officers and helpline numbers, check out the Nyaaya Map on Key Information for Survivors of Violence.
Given below are the list of State Victim Compensation Schemes in India:
|State||Name of the Scheme|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Arunachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Assam||Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Bihar||Bihar Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Chattisgarh||Chattisgarh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Chandigarh||Chandigarh Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||Dadra and Nagar Haveli Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012|
|Daman and Diu||Daman and Diu Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012|
|Delhi||Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme, 2015|
|Goa||Goa Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Gujarat||Gujarat Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013|
|Haryana||Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013|
|Himachal Pradesh||Himachal Pradesh (Victim of Crime) Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Jammu and Kashmir||Jammu and Kashmir Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013|
|Jharkhand||Jharkhand Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Karnataka||Karnataka Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Kerala||Kerala Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014|
|Lakshadweep||Lakshadweep Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012|
|Manipur||Manipur Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Meghalaya||Meghalaya Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014|
|Mizoram||Mizoram Victims Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Maharashtra||Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014|
|Madhya Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2015|
|Nagaland||Nagaland Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Odisha||Odisha Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Puducherry||Puducherry Victim Assistance Scheme, 2012|
|Punjab||Punjab Victim Compensation Scheme, 2017|
|Rajasthan||Rajasthan Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011|
|Sikkim||Sikkim Compensation to Victims or his Dependents Scheme, 2011|
|Tamil Nadu||Tamil Nadu Victim Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes, 2018|
|Tripura||Tripura Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
|Uttar Pradesh||Uttar Pradesh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2014|
|Uttrakhand||Uttarakhand Victim from Crime Assistance Scheme, 2013|
|West Bengal||West Bengal Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012|
- Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2016) 3 SCC 669, order dated 10/4/2015 , .
- Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India and others, (2016) 3 SCC 571 .
- Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes 2018, National Legal Services Authority, accessed at https://wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/Final%20VC%20Sheme_0.pdf.
- Section 357B, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2014) 4 SCC 427 , .
- Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India and others, (2016) 3 SCC 571 , .
- Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2014) 4 SCC 427 .