Acid burning is one of the most horrific forms of violence occurring across the country. While there are attempts to pass laws specific to acid burning, as of yet, there is no specific law relating to acid burning. However, as with the other forms of violence, the current legislation does cover the issue indirectly. The laws relating to hurt and murder would effectively cover this type of hurt.
However, the problem is that the courts are often reluctant to give adequate punishments to the perpetrators. Nevertheless, the law is available and has been used successfully. It has especially been successful with regard to damages for hurts caused in the form of Arsh. The relevant provisions are identified below.
Provisions of Law:
Pakistan Penal Code
Whoever, with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing bodily injury to a person, by doing an act which in the ordinary course of nature is likely to cause death, or with-the knowledge that his act is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death, causes the death of such person, is said to commit qatl-e-amd.
Whoever, with intent to cause harm to the body or mind of any person, causes the death of that or of any other person by means of a weapon or an act which in the ordinary course of nature is not likely to cause death is said to commit qatlshibh-i-amd.
A in order to cause hurt strikes Z with a stick or stone which in the ordinary course of nature is not likely to cause death. Z dies as a result of such hurt. A shall be guilty of Qatlshibh-i-amd.
324. Attempt to commit qatl-i-amd:
Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances, that, if he by that act caused qatl, he would be guilty of qatl-i-amd, shall be punished with imprisonment for either description for a term which may extend to ten years [but shall not be less than five years if the offence has been committed in the name or on the pretext of honour], and shall also be liable to fine, and, if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall, in addition to the imprisonment and fine as aforesaid, be liable to the punishment provided for the hurt caused:
Provided that where the punishment for the hurt is qisas which is not executable, the offender shall be liable to arsh and may also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years.
- Whoever causes pain, harm, disease, infianity or injury to any person or impairs, disables or dismembers any organ of the body or part thereof of any person without causing his death, is said to cause hurt.
- The following are the kinds of hurt:
- jurh, and
- all kinds of other hurts
Whoever dismembers, amputates, severs any limb or organ of the body of another person is said to cause Itlaf-i-udw.
Whoever destroys or permanently impairs the functioning, power or capacity of an organ of the body of another person, or causes permanent disfigurement is said to cause itlaf-i-salahiyyat-i-udw.
337-L. Punishment for other hurt:
- Whoever causes hurt, not mentioned hereinbefore, which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to remain in severe bodily pain for twenty days or more or renders him unable to follow his ordinary pursuits for twenty days or more, shall be liable to daman and also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years.
- Whoever causes hurt not covered by sub-section 1. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with daman, or with both.
337-Q. Arsh for single organs:
The arsh for causing itlaf of an organ which is found singly in a human body shall be equivalent to the value of diyat.
Explanation: Nose and tongue are included in the organs which are found singly in a human body.
337-R. Arsh for organs in pairs:
The arsh for causing itlaf of organs found in a human body in pairs shall be equivalent to the value of diyat and if itlaf is caused to one of such organs the amount of arsh shall be one-half of the diyat:
Provided that, where the victim has only one such organ or his other organ is missing or has already become incapacitated the arsh for causing itlaf of the existing or capable organ shall be equal to the value of diyat.
Explanation: Hands, feet, eyes, lips and breasts are included in the organs which are found in a human body in pairs.
337-S. Arsh for the organs in quadruplicate:
The arsh for causing itlaf of organs found in a human body in a set of four shall be equal to:
- one-fourth of the diyat, if the itlaf is one of such organs;
- one-half of the diyat, if the itlaf is of two of such organs;
- three-fourth of the diyat, if the itlaf is of three such organs; and
- fulldiyat, if the itlaf is of all the four organs
Explanation: Eyelids are organs which are found in a human body in a set of four.
337-T. Arsh for fingers:
- The arsh for causing itlaf of a finger of a hand or foot shall be one-tenth of the diyat.
- The arsh for causing itlaf of a joint of a finger shall be one-thirteenth of the diyat: Provided that where the itlaf is of a joint of a thumb, the arsh shall be one-twentieth of the diyat.
337-U. Arsh for teeth:
- The arsh for causing itlaf of a tooth, other than a milk tooth, shall be one-twentieth of the diyat. Explanation: The impairment of the portion of a tooth outside the gum amounts to causing itlaf of a tooth.
- The arsh for causing itlaf of twenty or more teeth shall be equal to the value of diyat.
- Where the itlaf is of a milk tooth, the accused shall be liable to daman and may, also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year: Provided that, where itlaf of a milk tooth impedes the growth of.a new tooth, the accused shall be liable to arsh specified in sub-section 1.
337-V. Arsh for hair:
- all the hair of the head, beard, moustaches eyebrow, eyelashes or any other part of the body shall be liable to arsh equal to diyat and may also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years as ta’zir;
- one eyebrow shall be liable to arsh equal to one- half of the diyat; and
- one eyelash, shall be liable to arsh equal to one fourth of the diyat.
Where the hair of any part of the body of the victim are forcibly removed by any process not covered under sub section 1., the accused shall be liable to daman and imprisonment of either description, which may extend to one year.
337-W. Merger of arsh:
Where an accused more than one hurt, he shall be liable to arsh specified for each hurt separately, Provided that, where:
- hurt is caused to an organ, the accused shall be liable to arsh for causing hurt to such organ and not for arsh for causing hurt to any part of such organ; and
- the wounds join together and form a single wound, the accused shall be liable to arsh for one wound.
- A amputates Z’s fingers of the right hand and then at the same time amputates that hand from the joint of his writs. There is separate arsh for hand and for fingers. A shall, however, be liable to arsh specified for hand only.
- A twice stabs Z on his thigh. Both the wounds are so close to each other that they form into one wound. A shall be liable to arsh for one wound only.
Where, after causing hurt to a person, the offender causes death of such person by committing qatl liable to diyat, arsh shall merge into such diyat. Provided that the death is caused before the healing of the wound caused by such hurt.
337-X. Payment of arsh:
- The arsh may be made payable in a lump sum or in instalments spread over a period of three years from the date of the final judgment.
- Where a convict fails to pay arsh or any part thereof within the period specified in subsection 1., the convict may be kept in jail and dealt with in the same manner as if sentenced to simple imprisonment until arsh is paid in full may be released on bail if he furnishes security equal to amount of arsh to the satisfaction of the Court.
- Where a convict dies before the payment of arsh any part thereof, it shall be recovered from his estate.
337-Y. Value of daman:
The value of daman may be determined by the Court keeping in view:
- the expenses incurred on the treatment of victim;
- loss or disability caused in the functioning or power of any organ; and
- the compensation for the anguish suffered by the victim.
In case of non-payment of daman, it shall be recovered from the convict and until daman is paid in full to the extent of his liability, the convict may be kept in jail and dealt with in the same manner as if sentenced to simple imprisonment or may be released on bail if he furnishes security equal to the amount of daman to the satisfaction of the Court.
337-Z. Disbursement of arsh or daman:
The arsh or daman shall be payable to the victim or, if the victim dies, to his heirs according to their respective shares in inheritance.