|Acid Offence Prevevtion Act 2002
Legal Justice for Victims of Acid Violence
Acid Survivors Foundation is working towards a vision of 'Bangladesh free from acid violence by 2015'. In addition to providing free medical and rehabilitation services, ASF also provides legal support to survivors.ASF has their own lawyer to help prepare case reports and provide legal advice to survivors. To ensure that the cases are filed properly ASF maintains regular contact with police authorities (deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, and officer in charge), local administrations (civil surgeons), judges and public prosecutors to facilitate effective investigations and speedy trials. ASF hands over the cases to ASF's legal aid partner organizations which include; BRAC, Ain O Salish Kendro, Bangladesh National Lawyer's Association (BNWLA), Nari Pokkho, Jatiyo Mahila Sanstha, Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastobayan Sangstha (BSEHR), and Bangladesh Legal Aid Services And Trust (BLAST). ASF lawyer refer the cases over to ASF's legal aid partners. As the legal partners pursue cases for the
survivors at the local level, ASF lawyers make follow up visits, and correspond with local police, lawyers, and local administration (union parishad, DACC, Civil Surgeon) to speed up investigations and trials. The legal unit also holds
discussions and meetings with local law enforcement agencies and conduct capacity development workshops with local ASF partner organizations. Prior to 2002 there was no provision in the legal framework to prevent acid offence. Acid related offenses were primarily dealt under the Repression against Women and Children Act. ASF started their relentless lobby with the government to persuade the government to introduce new laws specifically for acid offense. ASF along with other human rights organizations, social activists and pressure groups started their advocacy campaign. BMWLA submitted public interest litigation against easy access to acid to the government of Bangladesh. On March 17th 2002, the president of Bangladesh approved two laws; The Acid Control Act of 2002 and The Acid Crime Control Act of 2002.
Acid Offence Prevevtion Act 2002 and the Acid Control Act of 2002
The Acid Offence Prevention Act of 2002 is intended to control acid crimes by mandating stringent punishment ranging from between three years and fifteen years and a hefty fine to life imprisonment to a maximum statement of death penalty. The variations of punishment depend on the parts of the body affected.For example punishment for killing of a person by acid or injuring a person resulting in loss of vision, loss of hearing, or damage or disfigurement of the face, breasts or sexual organs can result in capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment for life and also a fine not exceeding one lakh taka. Damage or disfigurement of any member or joint of his/her body will result in fourteen years of imprisonment but not less than seven years or rigorous imprisonment. Punishment for attempt to throw acid causing no damage or injury may extend to seven years but not less than three years of rigorous imprisonment and also with a fine not exceeding fifty thousand taka. Also, if someone assists to commit the crime of acid throwing, he/she will receive the same punishment as the perpetrators The Acid Control Act of 2002 has been introduced to control 'the import, production, transportation, hoarding, sale and use of acid, and to provide treatment to victims of acid violence, rehabilitate them, and provide legal assistance'. The Act punishes the unlicensed production, import, transport, storage, sale and use of acid by a jail term of three to ten years and a fine of upto taka 50,000. It establishes the central government the licensing authority for import licenses and the deputy commissioner as the licensing authority for transport, storage, and seller and user license. The act also requires license holders to keep informational records relating to all acid use. The National Acid Control Council (NACC) and District Acid Control Committees (DACC) were established under this act.