What are the rights a person has under this law?

Last updated on May 11, 2022

[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.(( Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2016) 3 SCC 669, order dated 10/4/2015 [34], [35].))
  • Government and private hospitals have to provide survivors with first-aid and medical treatment free of cost.(( Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2016) 3 SCC 669, order dated 10/4/2015 [34], [35].))

The court has placed the responsibility for the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors on the state government.(( Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India and others, (2016) 3 SCC 571 [29].)) Additionally, it has expected states and union territories to take action against hospitals that refuse to treat acid attack survivors.(( Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2016) 3 SCC 669, order dated 10/4/2015 [34], [35].))

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 Scheme(( 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.)) 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.(( Section 357B, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.))

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.(( Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2014) 4 SCC 427 [13], [14].)) This is the minimum amount, and the state government can provide a higher amount, where necessary.(( Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India and others, (2016) 3 SCC 571 [20], [21].))
  • Any compensation amount must factor in not only the survivor’s physical injuries but also their inability to lead a full life.(( Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India and others, (2016) 3 SCC 571 [20], [21].))
  • The Chief Secretary/ Administrator of the state/UT concerned must ensure that this amount is paid.(( Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, (2014) 4 SCC 427 [14].))

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

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