New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked states and UTs to compensate, rehabilitate and ensure free treatment to acid attack victims as per its guidelines.
The Supreme Court in September had issued show cause notices against governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for not filing responses to its directions on issues like rehabilitation of acid attack victims.
A bench comprising Justices MY Eqbal and C Nagappan had asked the Chief Secretaries of the four states to file their replies to the contempt notices within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on September 23.
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The bench was hearing a PIL filed by a Bihar-based NGO Parivartan Kendra seeking the court’s direction on the rehabilitation of the victims. Earlier, the court, which had passed a slew of directions on the issue, had given two weeks more “as a last chance” to certain states for filing counter affidavits. “In the event, this order is not complied with, then Chief Secretary of the respective defaulting States and the Union Territories shall appear in person before this Court on September 9, the next date of hearing,” it had said.
Prior to this, 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 asked all state governments and Union Territories to “take up the matter with the private hospitals” to ensure that 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 PTI inputs)