10 yrs jail, 10 lakh fine recommended for acid attackers

A high-level committee, headed by Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai, is expected to submit these recommendations among others to the government next week for incorporation in the Indian Panel Code after amendments in Parliament.

The panel is set to recommend framing of separate clauses in the IPC -— 326 (A) and (B) -— to be added to the law to deal with the offence of acid attack. At present, cases of the gruesome crime, mostly involving young girls who are generally targeted by spurned lovers, are dealt under Section 326 of the IPC, sources said.

The committee is suggesting that minimum punishment for accused in acid-throwing cases should be 10 years imprisonment and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. The fine amount should be given to the victim of the acid attack, it suggests.

The panel, which was set up by Home Minister P Chidambaram, also plans to recommend that sex with a girl less than 18 years of age, even if consensual and she is a wife, be made a criminal offence punishable with seven years in jail and considered a rape.

The committee further plans to recommend that marrying of girls below 18 years be made a crime where the police can take suo motu cognisance.

"The recommendations are expected to be submitted next week after all members of the panel sign it," a member of the panel said.

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