Supreme Court notice to Centre, states and UTs on PIL on acid attack victims

The Supreme Court has sought the Centre’s response on a petition relating to sufferings of acid attack victims across India and questioning the sale of acid in open market.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also issued notice to all the states and Union territories on the plea for a direction for compliance of the guidelines and various laws pertaining to the victims.

The petition has asked for a direction to increase the minimum compensation amount of Rs 3 lakh for the victims, as directed by the apex court earlier, to at least Rs 12 lakh for the loss caused by such incidents, which led to partial or total disability.

It claimed that acid attacks have gone up and the top court’s guidelines on prohibition on sale of acid in open market was being violated.

Advocate Anuja Kapur, who has filed the PIL, referred to such incidents, including the attack in December last year on a 22-year-old woman in Gurgaon and a 2011 incident in Meerut in which a man was the victim.

The PIL claimed that the “procedure involved in the release of compensation and medical treatement (to such victims) are very tedious, lengthy and tiresome even after various guidelines and laws for it”.

It submitted that since the existing laws and guidelines were not workable at the ground level, the victims underwent “secondary victimisation”.

The plea sought a “one-window operation”, which could facilitate, help and assist the acid attack victims for their survival and rehabilitation.

It alleged that compensation, to be awarded to the victims as per the apex court’s guidelines, was not being provided to them.

“The PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) has issued clear directions to the police departments of the states for taking strict actions against the culprits who indulged in open sale of acid, but no concrete action has been taken for the same,” it said, adding that 1,189 acid attack cases were reported between 2010 to 2016.

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