Kathmandu: The government has drafted two separate ordinances to control the crime of acid abuse and its illegal sale and purchase. The Ministry of Law has sent the draft to the Nepal Law Commission for finalization. An attempt has been made to amend the law through an ordinance as the current parliamentary session is not in session.
One of the two ordinances deals with acid attack, imprisonment, and compensation, while the other ordinance deals with the purchase, sale, import, storage and use of acid.
According to the source, if the victim dies due to acid attack the criminal will have the punishment of lifetime imprisonment and if the attack causes physical disabilities and other problems other than death, the criminal will be imprisoned for 20 years.
Currently, if the acid attack causes disability other than death, the criminal will be imprisoned for 8 years. However, the victim is forced to live with pain for the rest of his/her life.
Therefore, the law is being amended through an ordinance to tighten the punishment system. The Law Commission has sought the opinion of Ujjwal Bikram Thapa, an activist working on the rights and assistance of the victims of the acid attack only on Sunday.
Thapa said that he had suggested drafting the ordinance accordingly as the perpetrators involved in the acid attack should be punished for life. “The perpetrator will be released after spending a few years in jail, but the victim will have to endure the pain of the injury for the rest of his life.
The victims should also be provided treatment ”he said. He also suggested making strict provisions for buying and selling acid. Due to lack of criteria on selling and purchasing of acid, the acid is mishandled. Acid is used in industries, factories and even the gold shop, so it is very easy to buy.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday called on stakeholders, engineers and victims of the attack, saying he was serious about acid abuse and pledged to tighten legal regulations to regulate its misuse and sale. He also assured that the government would take responsibility for the treatment and care and education of the victims of the acid attack. Earlier, Inspector General of Police Shailesh Thapa had met Home Ministry Secretary Maheshwar Neupane and submitted a written suggestion stating that it was necessary to enact strict laws on the acid attack and crime investigation and control. Home Secretary Neupane had also submitted the details prepared by the police to the Prime Minister.
There have been 17 acid attacks across the country in the last six years. The last time Pavitra Karki of Okhaldhunga was attacked with acid was on July 25. The culprits were arrested within three hours of the incident. Police have brought all the cases of acid attack in the past to justice. Inspector-General of Police, Thapa said that the police has achieved 100 percent result in the investigation of acid crime. “Everyone involved in the acid attack has been arrested, some were absconding, they have been arrested,” he said.
The suggestions from the police were sent to the Ministry of Law by the Home Law Division. The law then sent a preliminary draft to the commission regulating the sale and use of acid and what kind of imprisonment/fine and compensation would be given if someone was killed, injured by acid attack. Pushkar Sapkota, chief of the law division at the home ministry, said that strict laws were being drafted on the crime of acid attack and its sale and use. The police headquarters had suggested to the Home Ministry that the property of those involved in the crime should be frozen.