SC tells govt to take acid-throwing cases seriously

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) The Supreme Court today lambasted the Central goverment for not taking the plight of victims of acid-throwing incidents seriously and told it to expedite the process of making the punishment for such an offence extemely stringent.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices R V Raveendran and M K Sharma, was not impressed by the contention of the Central government that the matter was under active consideration of the Law Commission of India.

The judges suggested that the punishment for throwing acid on someone should be announced to life imprisonment, as this offence is worse than a murder.

Earlier, Aparna Bhatt appearing for the petitioner, Lakshmi, a minor who herself is the victim of such an attack, suggested that the availability of acid in the market should be restricted and regulated so that it is not easily available in the market. She also suggested that a law similar to that of 'Acid Control Order' prevailing in Bangladesh, should be enacted and enforced in India.

Ms Bhatt also suggested that a seperate amendment should be made to make the offence of throwing acid on someone non-bailable and cited the example of the petitioner, Lakshmi in whose case the culprit was already roaming freely on bail, as he has only been charged with the offence of attempt to murder under Section 307 IPC.

Counsel for the petitioner also pleaded for making the State responsible for immediate and effective rehabilitation of such victims, who have to suffer throughout their lives and mostly girls are the victims of such attacks. Some stringent laws are urgently required to act as deterrent for such offenders, she added.

UNI SC RSA HS1421

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