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Updated: July 10, 2013 01:37 IST

Supreme Court blasts govt. apathy to curb acid sale

J. Venkatesan
Comment (13)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A view of the Supreme Court of India.
The Hindu
A view of the Supreme Court of India.

If no scheme is ready in a week to restrict acid sale, we may ban it totally, say judges

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for not formulating a policy to regulate/ban retail sale of acid across the country, even as it expressed serious concern over acid attacks taking place everyday.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and S.J. Mukhopadhaya told Additional Solicitor-General Indira Jaising that it had been more than 11 weeks since an order was passed by this court but no scheme had been submitted. If the Centre/State governments/Union Territories were not able to come out with a scheme to restrict retail sale of acid, “this court may consider the suggestion of counsel for the petitioner [Aparna Bhat] to ban retail sale completely at the next hearing on July 16.”

Justice Lodha told the ASG: “One of the main reasons for acid attacks is easy availability of acid across the counter. The matter has been pending before this court for the last seven years. But neither the Central Government nor the State Governments/Union Territories have been able to address this grave issue.”

On April 16 the court had passed an order directing the Centre to file an affidavit on a draft scheme, the judge pointed out and asked, “Where is the affidavit? People are dying. You are not worried about that. Everyday one incident or the other is happening. Think of the plight of the girl [Preeti who died recently in Mumbai]. The seriousness expected of the government is not seen. Think of the people who are losing their lives every day.”

The Centre said 14 States — Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Odihsa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal — had issued a notification for a victim compensation scheme and the others were reminded and asked to follow the scheme.

It said the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, which had received presidential assent, had Sections 326 A and 326 B in the Indian Penal Code for making acid attack a specific offence, providing for a maximum punishment of life sentence.

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I am sure my fellow reader Emburey is being sarcastic. This is indeed
a good approach by the government, as another reader pointed out,
knives are used to stab, so ban knives, ropes are used to hang so ban
ropes, ball bearings are used by terrorists in bombs so ban ball
bearings, Jeans and T-shirts cause rape so ban these clothes...I could
go on and on.

This is the reaction of a lazy people. Why do our rulers not talk
about demonstrating that breaking the law will bring swift punishment
that will be so severe that another person will think twice before
attempting to break the law. Publicise the crime and punishment widely
on TV and in communities. Publicly shame the perpetrators and their
families. Obviously, this is too much work for our rulers so they
would rather ban things and sit back, then blame the victims and

from:  Rahul Garg
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 16:39 IST

SC must order the concerned state govt of the acid attack victims to pay hefty (10-20lakhs) compensation, because state govts are part of crime for letting easy access to acid.

from:  Saravanan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 14:13 IST

Definitely this is a welcome move!!
Nothing wrong in hastily scrapping off this acid sales, in a country where it is used upto a gore extent.
Thrash it under the list of illicit rdx and ammos.

from:  Emburey Samrex
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:24 IST

It is nice to see SC whipping the centre for inaction. Hope we need a separate panel of 20 Judges only for whipping centre for all inactions and corruption.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:05 IST

Truth is that one and quarter billion Indian population look upon Supreme Court only with ultimate hope and not the PM, President or Congress Chief. Therefore SC should take all decisions promptly in national interest however bitter they may be. God bless India!

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:50 IST

Can the Supreme Court just simply ban as they wish? Isn't parliament supposed to be responsible for that? Not condoning the attacks, but it seems our country is being ruled by Supreme Court , not our elected representatives.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:39 IST

The problem with the Central and State governments is the artificaial division of the citizens
into two categories viz.VIP and aam aadmi. How much the former and their kith and kin get
insulated from threats to and attacks on their lives and properties, due to the super security
provided to them from the taxes which the latter and the most vulnerable category of
citizens pay for , are too well known to be elaborated. There is therefore, no wonder, that the
ruling and powerful VIP class treats the ruled class ( once berated as ' cattle class ' by a
prominent VIP ) with utmost contempt and indifference and such a life lost in unnatural
circumstances ,is not considered as a loss at all. Due to arrogance of power and authority, at
the most, the former foxes a price tag for each life lost in blasts, riots ,acid attacks etc. In this
scenario,Similar to acid sales, stringent regulation of sale of explosive materials that go into
bomb making should also be considered by the Supreme Court!

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:33 IST

It is surprising that no one is taking note of an infringement on the freedoms of people.
Acid does not cause crime. Criminals cause crime. Anything, even a small pin, can be used for mutilation, murder or any other bodily harm to a victim.
Knives and machetti are used for stabbing. Are we going to ban knives? Can we?
Acid has positive uses and negative uses. Just like a knife. Banning acid will only mean it will become a black market product. There is no way the government can control black market.
It is a sad day when the highest court thinks that objects can cause crime, instead of criminals. The supreme court has shown supreme ignorance in its decision.

from:  akakakak
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 03:15 IST

Two things

Restrict access totally.

Shoot the person responsible for acid attack.

from:  Mahesh Kuthuru
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 00:22 IST

India has an uncaring and unresponsive govt who cares little for women's
safety or for that safety and security of the people.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Jul 9, 2013 at 23:26 IST

The UPA-II is indifferent to the welfare and security of the common man.
IT is worried only about the welfare and security of the rich and the
ruling class as is evident from what it has provided to Mukesh Ambani
and top the political leaders.

from:  Mohanraj
Posted on: Jul 9, 2013 at 23:24 IST

It is really astonishing to note that instead of taking the initiative
themselves, the Govt of the day choose to go in sleep mode & reasons
are apparent:1. They are not affected at all.They themselves & their
children are enjoying fool-proof security on tax payer's account.
2.Most of those involved in this heinous crime have their God fathers
in higher places & they know their utility in elections & other
'business' matters.3.No vote bank is seen here.

Had it been a matter of jacking up their emoluments, perks etc, in no
time they would taken the necessary action & got it implemented in
double quick time.But common people are involved & they no time for
them 'cause they so deeply and wholeheartedly in scams after scams.

from:  Pramod Shankhdhar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2013 at 17:33 IST

It is known that acid attack is dangerous, very dangerous. But the
extent of damage to its victims has to be made widely understood to
the public. The victim is left behind with a permanent mass of under-
cooked flesh on its skull. The victim cannot see and has no hope of
having back its proper head with hair, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, etc.
In short the victim never has its normal life back.

In most of the cases, the victims were normal,level-headed and hard-
working people. The parents of all these victims have been reduced to
dire state and in want of more funds to do the surgery operations.

The gravity of these cases were highlighted in the series CRIME PATROL
in SONY TV. The Government has in no way cautioned Citizens against
the use of acid nor issued any notices regarding outcome of its usage
with Criminal intentions.

The victims voice has no strength. For the onlookers life moves on but
for the victim and its family, life comes to a painfull-stop.May God
show mercy to them.

from:  Rejani
Posted on: Jul 9, 2013 at 16:40 IST
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