Ordinance moots 20-year jail term for acid attack


The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has prepared the draft of two ordinances proposing to increase jail term for acid attackers to 20 years and to regulate the sale and distribution of acid.

Under the existing law, perpetrators of acid attack face a maximum jail term of eight years. According to a source, the government has proposed a jail term of 20 years and a fine of Rs 1,000,000 for acid attackers if the crime causes serious injuries to the victim.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari was expected to promulgate the two ordinances, but since Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa was out of Kathmandu, the government did not send the ordinance to the president for promulgation.

A government source said the two ordinances would be promulgated by the head of state in a day or two.

The draft of one of the ordinances states that if a person attacks another person with harmful chemicals or acid and if the victim suffers damage to eyes, ears, nose, face, breasts (in case of a woman/girl) or private parts, then the attacker(s) shall be awarded a jail term of 20 years and a fine of Rs 1,000,000.

If the acid attack causes blindness in one eye or deafness in one ear, partial damage to the face, damage to one breast of a woman victim, damage to a part of the head or if the victim suffers damage to his/her back, then the attacker(s) shall face a jail term between 10 years and 20 years and a fine between Rs 700,000 and Rs 1000,000. For other types of injuries caused by an acid attack, the draft ordinance proposes a jail term of five to 10 years and a fine of Rs 100,000 to 500,000.

According to the draft ordinance, if a person attempts to attack a victim with acid or harmful chemicals and the victim escapes without injury, then the attackers will face a jail term not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding Rs 500,000. The fine amount will be given to the victim as a compensation.

A source at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs said the ministry was still in the process of finalising the content of the ordinances. The source said there might be some changes in the final draft of the ordinance.

Prime Minister’s Press Adviser Surya Thapa said that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to bring two ordinances as he had promised acid attack victims recently that he would try to increase the quantum of punishment for perpetrators of acid attack.