SC seeks responses from MHA, states on restricted use of acid

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court today soughtresponses from the Centre, states and UTs on the plea forrestricting the sale of acid to prevent attacks on women byjilted lovers.

A bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik alsowanted to know whether any suitable scheme can be prepared bygovernments to provide adequate compensation to the victimsfor their treatment and rehabilitation.

The apex court passed the directions while dealing with aplea made by counsel Aparna Bhat on behalf of a Delhi-basedvictim Laxmi whose face was disfigured permanently after shewas attacked with acid by a jilted lover.

The counsel submitted Laxmi has to remain with thedisfigured face for the rest of her life as even after sixplastic surgeries her condition continues to be pathetic.

She pleaded for a total ban of sale of acid as there wereincreasing number of incidents of such attacks on women indifferent states and cited the recent case of Andhra Pradeshwhere a college girl was attacked with acid by a fellowstudent.

"It may be impractical to ban the substance totally.

Because if there are knife attacks, we can''t ban use ofknives," the bench remarked.

To this, the counsel remarked even a small country likeBangladesh had banned the use of acid to prevent such attacks.

On the contrary, in India even a small-time grocer stocks acidat throw-awy prices which makes it easier for culprits toprocure it for the attacks, she said.

Partly relenting to the submission, the apex court saidit could explore if there was any the sale of the substancecould be regulated only for industrial use.

Accordingly, it asked the Union Ministry of Home, statesand UTs to come out with their views on regulating the use ofacid and formulating a suitable scheme across the country forcompensating and rehabilitating the victims.

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