SC gives four-months to frame acid sale policy

SC gives four-months to frame acid sale policy

The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed a deadline of March 31, 2014, for all the states and Union Territories (UTs) for framing rules to regulate the sale of acid and pass the necessary notification.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice R M Lodha noted that none of the states or UTs had notified the rules on the lines of the model rules proposed by the Central government for regulating sale of acid and other corrosive substances despite an order by the court in July.

The apex court on July 18 ordered all state governments to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation to all acid attack victims while directing them to frame rules for regulating its sale within three months. Declaring acid attack non-bailable offence, it had directed that the corrosive substance would not be available for purchase without producing a photo identity card, containing residential address.

Taking up a PIL filed by one of the acid attack victims, the bench noted the states had failed to come out with the necessary rules and notification.

“Rules to regulate sale of acid and other corrosive substances is one of the necessary steps for minimising acid attacks which operate in vice. It was after a series of hearings and orders passed by this court that finally the Central government came out with the model rules in consultation with states and UTs,” the bench said.

Taking note of a scheme mooted in Haryana where the state government takes care of the entire medical treatment, including plastic or corrective surgeries at a specialised hospital, as well as psychological care, the court asked states and UTs to respond if they could follow suit.

“We direct chief secretaries and administrators to specifically intimate this court of their views in bearing 100 per cent cost of treatment of acid attack victims in line of the decision taken by Haryana, and also with respect to framing of scheme for medical treatment at specialised hospitals where facilities of plastic and corrective surgeries and psychological and other treatment of victims are made available,” the court said.

The bench, also comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Jospeh, said that if any state or UT has already formulated a scheme or was in the process of framing one, they should put it on record before the court and also intimate the Central government about it.

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