New law criminalises acid attacks passed

Kathmandu, December 5

The Parliament has recently enacted a new law criminalising acid attacks on women. The Act Made to Amend Some Nepal Laws to Maintain Gender Equality and End Gender Violence, 2015 was approved recently after lawmakers, rights activists and civil society leaders demanded that the country introduce a new law to criminalise acid attacks.

On February 22, two schoolgirls aged 15 and 16 were seriously injured when a man threw acid at them at Jhonchhe, Basantapur.

Jeevan BK, the perpetrator of the incident, was booked for attempted murder as per the Muluki Ain. “As acid throwing may result in the death of a victim, he was charged with murder, as there was no specific law to criminalise the attack. The new law recently passed by the Parliament has made it easier to take action against the perpetrators of such attack,” said a police official, who was involved in the investigation into the case .

“If a person throws acid at a person or uses any chemical substance to attack a person in a manner to cause a serious harm or disfigure the victim, the perpetrator/s shall be awarded five to eight years in jail depending on the gravity of the offence and fined Rs 100,000-Rs 300,000. The fine imposed on the perpetrator shall be provided to the victim.” In case of death of the victim in such an attack, the perpetrator(s) will face murder charge.

The Bill of the Act was by prepared by the Ministry of Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs and tabled in the Parliament by Bills Committee with necessary changes for approval.