As per the date available with the Government, a total of more than 291 cases of acid attacks were reported from 2010 to 2013 clearly indicating that most of victims being women. States like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana reported the highest number of the attacks. Surely the Acid attacks are gruesome especially to the victims not just the physical trauma but also affecting the mental health of the victims. The Supreme Court in the case of Laxmi vs. Union of India and Ors. directed the government to form the guidelines and following which the Union Ministry detailed guidelines specifying the measures and prevention to be taken in case of Acid attacks and treatment of the victim. The acid throwing is one of the diabolical form of offence in the society, the barbaric act of attacking people and throwing acid has been taking place in different parts of country. This can be also be considered as one of ways to exploit women, Hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid which are easily available in the markets makes it as the heinous of the crimes and suffering of the victim.
Guidelines by the Union Mnistry
Over the counter, sale of acid is totally prohibited unless the vendor maintains a log/register recording the sale of acid which can contain the small print of the person(s) to whom acid(s) is/are sold and the quantity sold. The log/register shall contain the address of the person to whom it’s sold.
- All sellers shall sell acid only after the customer has shown:
- A photograph ID issued by the government which also has the address of the person:
- Specifies the reason/purpose for procuring acid.
- All stocks of acid must be declared by the vendor with the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) within 15 days.
- No acid shall be sold to a person who is below 18 years age.
- Just in case of undeclared stock of acid, it’ll be hospitable the concerned SDM to confiscate the stock and suitably impose fine on such seller up to Rs. 50,000/-
- The concerned SDM may impose fine up to Rs. 50,000/- on a person who commits breach of any of the above directions.
The educational institutions, research laboratories, hospitals, Government Departments and thus the departments of Public Sector Undertakings, who are required to remain and store acid, shall follow the next guidelines:
- A register of usage of acid shall be maintained and therefore the same shall be filed with the concerned SDM.
- An individual shall be made in charge of possession and safe keeping of acid in their premises.
- The acid shall be stored under the supervision of this person and there shall be compulsory checking of the scholars / personnel leaving the laboratories/place of storage where acid is used.
The bench seeks reply from Government regarding the sale and purchae of Acids, 14th Jan. 2020
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court asks for a reply from the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh state governments for the implementation of the guidelines as directed the Apex Court of the country regarding the sale and distribution of acids. The Hon’ble Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Chandra Dhari Singh asked the respective governments both Centre and government of Uttar Pradesh to file their affidavits by 31st of January. The petitioner in the case NGO (Non- governmental Organization), Chhanv Foundation highlighting on the point that even after the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Laxmi V. Union of India and Ors. the acid attacks is still considered as a matter of cinch. The main issue before the court as presented by the petitioner was that there was no seriousness on the part of governments even after the guidelines came in August 2013 by the Apex Court, hence also no implementation for the same. Furthermore the petitioner also said that the state secretary of Uttar Pradesh has specifically asked all the DMs, SSPs and SPs to upload the steps by them on the 7th day of every month but it was found out that the authorities were ultimately were not serious and neglecting the same.
Order of the court
Chief Justice’s Court:
Case: – P.I.L. CIVIL No. – 664 of 2020
Petitioner: – Chhanv Foundation through Director Sri Ashish Shukla
Respondent: – Union Of India through Secretary Ministry of Home & Ors.
Counsel for Petitioner: – Prince Lenin
Counsel for Respondent: – C.S.C., A.S.G.
Judges: Hon’ble Govind Mathur, Chief Justice Chandra Dhari Singh.
This petition for writ raises a serious issue pertaining to compliance of directions issued by the Apex Court to regulate sale and distribution of acid. The directions were given looking to the acid attacks by the criminals. As the petitioner, in the State of Uttar Pradesh, though several directions have been issued by the Government but those have not been complied with seriously. For instance, he has referred the letter dated May 10, 2016 wherein all the District Magistrates, Senior Superintendent of Polices and Superintendent of Polices in the State of Uttar Pradesh were directed by the Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Department of Home Affairs to regulate sale of acid as per the directions given in the Government Order dated 16.08.2013 and further to upload the steps taken by 7th day of every month. It is asserted that most of the District Magistrates/ Senior Superintendent of Polices/ Superintendent of Polices are either not adhering the directions given in the letter dated 10.05.2016 or just are performing empty formalities. Having considered the facts stated above, we deem it appropriate to call upon the respondents to file a counter affidavit to the petition at the earliest. Let this petition for writ be listed on 31.01.2020. In the meanwhile, the respondents are directed to ensure compliance of the directions issued under the letter dated 10.05.2016 (Annexure-3 to the petition) read with Government Order dated 16.08.2013 as referred in the letter aforesaid.
Order Date: – 10.1.2020
Edited by Vartika Gajendra Singh
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
3. Acid Sales Regulation by Syed Mohammad Ali
4. Ministry of Home Affairs, Unstarred Question No 3800, answered on 16thDecember, 2014 in the Lok Sabha