Thursday, 11 June 2015

COMPENSATION and FREE TREATMENT to ACID ATTACK VICTIMS


SUMMERY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA O R D E R

The provisional figures for 2014 indicate that there were 282 acid attacks in all the States. The majority of acid attacks were in the States of Uttar Pradesh (185), Madhya Pradesh (53) and Gujarat (11)… U.T. Delhi 27.

In spite of the directions given by the Court in Laxmi Vs. Union of India [(2014) 4 SCC 427], the minimum compensation of Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakhs only) per acid attack victim has not been fixed in some of the States/Union Territories. The Court suggested that the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority should take up the issue with the State Government so that the orders passed by the Court are complied with and a minimum of Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakhs only) is made available to each victim of acid attack.

Court also directed that the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority to obtain a copy of the Victim Compensation Scheme from the concerned State/Union Territory and to give it wide and adequate publicity in the State/Union Territory so that each acid attack victim in the States/Union Territories can take the benefit of the Victim Compensation Scheme.

Court also issued a direction that the hospital, where the victim of an acid attack is first treated, should give a certificate that the individual is a victim of an acid attack. This certificate can be utilized by the victim for treatment and reconstructive surgeries or any other scheme that the victim may be entitled to with the State Government or the Union Territory, as the case may be. In the event of any specific complaint against any private hospital or government hospital, the acid attack victim is at liberty to take further action.

With regard to the banning of sale of acid across the counter,  Court directed that the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with the State Governments/Union Territories to ensure that an appropriate notification to this effect is issued within a period of three months from the date of this Court order.

Therefore, in case of any compensation claim made by any acid attack victim, the matter would be taken up by the District Legal Services Authority, which would include the District Judge and such other co-opted persons who the District Judge feels would be of assistance. This body would function as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for all purposes.

The Court also directed that a copy of this order be sent to learned counsel appearing for the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for onward transmission and compliance to the Chief Secretary or their counterparts in all the States and Union Territories. The Chief Secretary would ensure that the order is sent to all the District Magistrates and due publicity is given to the order of the Court.


The Court also directed that a  copy of this order should also be sent to the Member Secretary of NALSA for onward transmission and compliance to the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority in all the States and Union Territories. The Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority would ensure that it is forwarded to the Member Secretary of each District Legal Services Authority who will ensure that due publicity is given to the order of the Court. 

[Reference: WRIT PETITION (CRL.)NO.129 OF 2006  LAXMI ...PETITIONER   V/S UNION OF INDIA & ORS. ...RESPONDENTS order dated  APRIL 10, 2015].

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