In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Monday asked all the states and union territories to consider granting benefits including compensate, rehabilitate and free treatment to victims of acid attack under the disability law. The apex court gave these directions while hearing a case of an acid attack victim from Bihar.
A bench of justices M Y Eqbal and C Nagappan said that acid attack survivors must be brought to national mainstream and bringing them within the domain of disable persons would help in their rehabilitation.
Ordering the Bihar government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim, besides providing her free treatment including reconstruction surgery, the bench also asked other states and the UTs to provide all kind of help to such victims.
The present matter was brought before the court by Bihar-based NGO Parivartan Kendra which has sought its direction on rehabilitation of acid attack victims, alleging that private hospitals were not providing free treatment to the victims.
Earlier, the court had come to the aid of acid attack survivors by issuing directions including an order to all private hospitals across the country to provide free treatment, including medicines and expensive reconstruction surgeries, to such victims.
It had also asked all state governments and Union Territories to “take up the matter with private hospitals” to ensure acid attack victims are attended to immediately and adequately.
The hospitals, where such victims are rushed after the incident, would have to provide a certificate or document stating that the person was an acid attack victim and the document would enable her or him to access free treatment, including surgeries, at a later stage, it had directed.
On the banning of off-the-counter acid sale across the country, it had asked all states and UTs to notify acid as a “scheduled substance” to stop its unregulated sale.
The court had also said its order should be sent to Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, who in turn, would ensure that it reached district magistrates for compliance and directed them to publicise it to ensure awareness among the people.
(With inputs from the PTI)