Supreme Court gives states four months to frame acid sale policy

New Delhi, Dec 3 : The Supreme Court Tuesday gave the states and union territories four more months till March 31, 2014, to frame rules for regulating the sale of acids.

A bench of Justic R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph gave the extension after counsel Aparna Bhat said that except for Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry, no other state or union territory has taken any steps to frame rules to regulate the sale of acid on the lines of the model rules framed by the central government.

The court also sought a response from all state governments and union territories on the Haryana government's scheme of providing free medical treatment, including plastic surgery, psychological treatment and after-care rehabilitation of the acid attack victims. It also appreciated the state's scheme.

It asked the central government to send copies of the scheme to the chief secretaries of all state governments and union territories.

The bench also said that if any other state was providing free treatment to acid attack victims, then a copy of that policy too should be sent to all state governments.

Banning the over-the-counter sale of acids at retail outlets, the apex court July 18 issued detailed directions to all states and union territories to frame rules within three months for regulating the sale of acids after the receipt of model rules from the central government.

The court said all the states which already have rules to regulate the sale of acids will reinforce them and those which don't have them will frame them in accordance with the model rules framed by the central government.

It also directed that after a complaint of an incident of acid attack in a police station, the SHO would bring it to the notice of the superintendent of police of its jurisdiction and who in turn would send it the sub-divisional magistrate. The SDM would then inquire how the acid was sourced by the attacker.

The court's direction came in the wake of a PIL by acid attack victim Laxmi who sought regulation of the sale of acids which were increasingly used to attack girls.

The petitioner also sought treatment, after-care and rehabilitation and compensation to the acid attack victims by the government and deterrent provision for the punishment of the accused.

--IANS (Posted on 03-12-2013)

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