A “comprehensive affidavit” has been sought from the Central Ministry by the Supreme Court of India regarding measures taken to prevent misuse of acid and regulation of its sale. This comes in wake of the alarming rise in the number of acid attacks, especially on women by jilted lovers. The Ministry of Home Affairs, was asked to “consider proper action” regarding making the right kind of provision for “regulation of sale of acids so that it is not easily or readily available to offenders.”
Both state governments and union government have been directed by the bench comprising of Justices RM Lodha and AR Dave to file their replies to the notices issued on 11 February, 2011, regarding restriction of sale of acid. On 29 April, the court had directed the Union Ministry to bring about a coordination of Indian states and Union Territories in order to formulate an all comprehensive solution to tackle the menace. The Sc had also asked the Centre and state governments to provide the right kind of compensation to acid attack vctims for their treatment and rehabilitation.
The court’s directive to the governments come in the wake of a PIL filed in 2006 by a minor girl Lakshmi, whose face, arms and other parts of the body were grotesquely disfigured following an acid attack. Lakshmi sought amendment of existing criminal laws like IPC, Indian Evidence Act and CrPC in order to deal with offense and seek appropriate compensation. She also sought framing of new laws, in case the existing laws were not stringent enough.
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