The legal process following an acid attack is:
Step 1: File an FIR
[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on physical violence which some readers may find disturbing.]
A First Information Report (“FIR”) can be filed in the police station against the accused. This FIR can either be filed by the survivor, their family members, any person who has witnessed the crime, or any person who comes to know of the crime.
Since acid attack and throwing/ attempting to throw acid are cognizable offences under S. 326A and 326B respectively of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the police may arrest the accused without a warrant, where the police are of the opinion that the person is dangerous to be allowed to remain free. The person filing an FIR also has the right to get a free copy of the FIR.
Step 2: Police Investigation Starts
After the filing of the FIR, the police will investigate the complaint and submit a final report based on the investigation and witness statements. This investigation should be completed within a time span of 60 to 90 days, when the accused is in custody.1
Step 3: Filing Charge Sheet and Trial Begins
Upon investigation, if the police are of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence of the crime being committed by the accused, they can file a charge sheet with a competent criminal court, requesting it to take notice of the case. This commences the trial process. If there is inadequate evidence, a closure report can be filed with the Magistrate to close the case. However, this may be challenged. Please take the help of a lawyer in the relevant district court for the trial process.1
- Section 167, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.