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Updated: September 7, 2013 01:13 IST

Centre asks States to strictly regulate sale of acid

Sandeep Joshi
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Complying with the Supreme Court directive, the Union Home Ministry has asked all states to ban across-the-counter sale of acid in the wake of rising incidents of attacks on women. File photo
The Hindu Complying with the Supreme Court directive, the Union Home Ministry has asked all states to ban across-the-counter sale of acid in the wake of rising incidents of attacks on women. File photo

The Home Ministry has asked the State governments to ban over-the-counter sale of acids as directed by the Supreme Court in its July order to curb growing incidents of attacks on women.

Besides bringing the sale of acid under The Poisons Possession And Sales Rules, 2013, thereby including at least a dozen acids in the list of poisons to curb their sale, the Ministry has asked the States to sternly deal with acid sellers who fail to comply with the guidelines.

After the apex court’s directions, The Hindu was first to report on July 20 about the Ministry’s intensions to implement the revised rules on sale of acid that could be done only by a licensed trader and identifying at least a dozen such acids, including acetic acid, phosphoric acid, hydrofluoric acid, perchloric acid, formic acid, oxalic acid, perchloride of mercury (corrosive sublimate), sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrocyanic acid, nitric acid, potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, that would have restricted sale.

The Ministry has asked the States to impose a fine of Rs.50,000 on sellers who do not maintain a register on personal information about buyers.

While acid should not be sold to a person below 18 years, the licence holder (seller) will have to identify to his satisfaction the purchaser’s identity through a photo identity card that mentions the purchaser’s address.

The seller will also have to “ascertain before selling any poison the name, telephone and address of the purchaser and the purpose for which the poison is purchased,” the new rules say.

The Ministry has said a compensation of at least Rs.3 lakh should be given to acid attack victims by the State government concerned as after-care and rehabilitation cost. Out of this, Rs.1 lakh shall be paid to the victim within 15 days of the incident to facilitate immediate medical attention and expenses in this regard. The balance sum should be paid as expeditiously as possible and positively within two months thereafter.

SDM can impose fine

The Ministry has said sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) may impose a fine up to Rs.50,000 on any person who commits breach of any of the above directions. The rules also lay down terms and conditions for sale-purchase and storage of acids.

Educational institutions, research laboratories, hospitals, government departments and the departments of public sector undertakings, which are required to keep and store acid/corrosive, shall maintain a register of usage of acid and the same shall be filed with the SDM concerned.

All Central government hospitals and establishments have been directed to treat acid attack victims free of cost.

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If the accused are punished severely and fast settlement of these cases will be done then I think this will help much to curb cases of acid attacks against women rather than banning the sell of acid it self.
This step might reduce the cases of acid attacks but crime and voilence against women will come out in some other forms.

from:  Bipin Das
Posted on: Sep 7, 2013 at 07:14 IST

Better late than never, finally the centre government have woken up
from the slumber and came down heavily on the sale of the acids across
the country in order to curtail the rising attacks on women. As we all
know that acid is much needed substance for variety of industries but
in the recent past plethora of cases have come to light where a girl
is brutally attacked by acid causing immense physical and
psychological damage. therefore in the light of the rising cases its
imperative to track the sale of the substance,though the direction has
been given, as always by central govt, the buck stops with the states
to implement effectively.registering the whereabouts of the buyer
properly can hep in tracking down in case of any misuse and heavy
penalty along with the imprisonment can deter the perpetrators.
Besides the stringent implementation, an effective monitoring system
is the need of the hour,so that outlets will be under the scanner all
the time and held accountable.

from:  neeraj bhatt
Posted on: Sep 6, 2013 at 19:38 IST

The merchant has to update the selling infos to the goverment on weekly basis if failed the goverment should cancel the licence and nobody from his family can't apply for s new licence.this information to be updated to all state goverments so that they can't do these business in other sates.

from:  Udaya
Posted on: Sep 6, 2013 at 19:24 IST

Increase the amount of fine to Rupees 5laks for those who don't maintain the records of their selling.Also its better to have the valid proof of identification to be submitted by the buyer.if there is no identification then the seller is to be considered as the sole responsebility of any acid cases happen in that area.The goverment must regulate and publish the details of the merchants to the public and the licence to be renewd on yearly basis based on the merchants records.hope the goverment will do.

from:  Udaya
Posted on: Sep 6, 2013 at 19:20 IST

The buyer must produce National Identity Card. Professionals using corrosives should be required to hold licence for purchase and safe storage. They also must undergo training for safety and first aid. Inspectorate of Factories can handle this. Any corrosive should be levied a 2% on the price and that should go to ex gracia fund for accidental or criminal acid burns.
Reserving beds in hospitals is ridiculous thinking. No hospital will refuse an emergency. For reconstructive surgery, superspecialists are needed. It needs multiple surgeries to restore face. The Rs. 3 lakhs should be given in instalments and to the hospital treating the case. Else money evaporates with poverty. Affected family needs support for at least 12 months. Only dedicated NGOs can do such job.
Unfortunate, that the Apex Court needs to direct the Govt. to legislate. There is no provision of special punitive damages to be recovered from the proven miscreant.
Unfortunate that there is no enhanced deterence.

from:  Dr. Shreekant Sapatnekar
Posted on: Sep 6, 2013 at 18:41 IST
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