Laxmi vs. Union of India – (2014) 4 SCC 427 – (Acid attack compensation order)

                         IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                       WRIT   PETITION   (CRL.)    NO.    129     OF    2006

| LAXMI                                                 |...|  PETITIONER(s)   |



|                      Versus                                                   |

| UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS                             |...|  RESPONDENT(s)    |

                                 O R D E R

                 On 6.2.2013, a direction was given to the Home  Secretary,
        Ministry of Home Affairs associating  the  Secretary,  Ministry  of
        Chemical  &  Fertilizers  to   convene  a  meeting  of  the   Chief
        Secretaries/concerned Secretaries of the State Governments  and the
        Administrators of the Union Territories, inter alia, to discuss the
        following aspects:
             i)  Enactment of appropriate provision for effective regulation
             of sale of acid in the States/Union Territories.
             (ii)  Measures   for  the  proper  treatment,  after  care  and
             rehabilitation of the victims of acid attack and needs of  acid
             attack victims.
             (iii)  Compensation payable to acid  victims  by  the  State/or
             creation of some separate fund for payment of  compensation  to
             the acid attack victims.
        2.       Following the order of 6.2.2013, three  subsequent  orders
        on 16.4.2013, 9.7.2013 and 16.7.2013 were passed by this Court.
        3.       Various State  Governments/Union  Territories  have  filed
        their affidavits.  The Union of India filed its last  affidavit  on
        17.7.2013.  Along with that affidavit, draft Model  Rules  entitled
        "The Poisons Possession and Sale Rules,  2013"  (for  short  "Model
        Rules") have been placed on record.  Mr. Mohan  Parasaran,  learned
        Solicitor General states that the Central Government will circulate
        the Model Rules to regulate  sale  of  acid  and  other   corrosive
        substances  framed under the Poisons Act, 1919  to  all  the  State
        Governments and Union Territories within a  week  from  today.   He
        also states that Model Rules will include, inter alia, the form  of
        acids (liquids or crystalline and its concentration)  that  can  be
        stored and sold, issue of  licenses,  procurement  by  individuals,
        educational  and  research  institutions,  hospitals,   industries,
        Government   Departments   and   departments   of   Public   Sector
        Undertakings.   We  accept  the  statement  made  by  the   learned
        Solicitor General as noted above.


        4.        Insofar  as   the  States  and  Union   Territories   are
        concerned,  we  are  informed  that  the  States  of   Maharashtra,
        Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana,  Punjab,  Madhya  Pradesh,  Sikkim  and
        Arunachal Pradesh  have framed rules to regulate sale of  acid  and
        other corrosive substances.  As regards state of Meghalaya, we find
        from the available record that draft rules have been   prepared,  a
        copy of which has been made available to the Court.
        5.       Learned counsel for the State of  Tamil  Nadu  has  stated
        before us that within two months from today, appropriate  rules  to
        regularise sale of acid and other corrosive  substances   shall  be
        framed.
        6.       In our opinion, all the States and Union Territories which
        have not yet framed rules will do well to make  rules  to  regulate
        sale of acid and other corrosive substances  in line with the Model
        Rules framed by the Central Government.   The  States,  which  have
        framed rules but these rules are not  as  stringent  as  the  Model
        Rules  framed  by  the  Central  Government  will  make   necessary
        amendments in their rules to bring them  in  line  with  the  Model
        Rules.  The Chief Secretaries of  the  respective  States  and  the
        Administrators of the Union Territories shall ensure compliance  of
        the above expeditiously and in no case later than three months from
        the receipt of the draft Model Rules from the Central Government.
        7.        The  Centre  and  States/Union  Territories   shall  work
        towards making the offences under the Poison Act,  1919  cognizable
        and non-bailable.
        8.       In the States/Union Territories, where rules  to  regulate
        sale of acid and other  corrosive substances are  not  operational,
        until such  rules  are  framed  and  made  operational,  the  Chief
        Secretaries of the concerned  States/Administrators  of  the  Union
        Territories shall ensure the compliance of the following directions
        with immediate effect:
                 i)      Over  the  counter,  sale  of  acid  is  completely
                 prohibited  unless  the  seller  maintains  a  log/register
                 recording the sale of acid which will contain  the  details
                 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 is sold.
                (ii)     All sellers shall sell acid only after  the  buyer
                has shown:
                       a)        a photo ID issued by the  Government  which
                       also has the address of the person:
                       b)        specifies the reason/purpose for  procuring
                       acid.


              (iii)      All stocks of acid must be  declared by the seller
              with the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) within  15
              days.
               (iv)      No acid shall be sold to any person who  is  below
               18 years of age.
               (v)       In case of undeclared stock of acid,  it  will  be
               open to the  concerned  SDM  to  confiscate  the  stock  and
               suitably impose fine on such seller up to Rs. 50,000/-
               (vi)      The concerned  SDM  may  impose  fine  up  to  Rs.
               50,000/- on any person  who commits breach  of  any  of  the
               above directions.
         9.       The   educational  institutions,  research   laboratories,
         hospitals, Government Departments and  the  departments  of  Public
         Sector Undertakings, who are required to keep and store acid, shall
         follow the following guidelines:
                (i)      A register of usage of acid  shall  be  maintained
                and the same shall be filed with  the concerned SDM.
                (ii)     A person shall be made accountable for  possession
                and safe keeping of acid in their premises.
                (iii)    The acid shall be stored under the supervision  of
                this person and there shall be compulsory checking  of  the
                students/  personnel  leaving  the  laboratories/place   of
                storage where acid is used.
        10.      The concerned SDM shall be vested with the  responsibility
        of taking appropriate action for the breach/default/  violation  of
        the above directions.
        11.      Section 357A  came to inserted in  the  Code  of  Criminal
        Procedure, 1973   by Act 5 of 2009 w.e.f. 31.12.2009.  Inter  alia,
        this Section provides for preparation of a  scheme   for  providing
        funds for  the  purpose  of  compensation  to  the  victim  or  his
        dependents who have suffered loss or injury  as  a  result  of  the
        crime and who require rehabilitation.
        12.       We are informed  that  pursuant  to  this  provision,  17
        States and 7 Union Territories have prepared  'Victim  Compensation
        Scheme' (for short "Scheme').   As  regards  the  victims  of  acid
        attacks the compensation mentioned in the Scheme  framed  by  these
        States and Union Territories is un-uniform.   While  the  State  of
        Bihar has provided for compensation of Rs. 25,000/- in such scheme,
        the  State  of  Rajasthan  has  provided  for  Rs.   2   lakhs   of
        compensation. In our view, the compensation provided in the  Scheme
         by most of the States/Union Territories is inadequate.  It  cannot
        be overlooked that acid attack victims need to undergo a series  of
        plastic surgeries and other corrective treatments.   Having  regard
        to this problem, learned Solicitor General suggested to us that the
        compensation  by  the  States/Union  Territories  for  acid  attack
        victims must be enhanced to at least Rs. 3 lakhs as  the after care
        and rehabilitation  cost.   The  suggestion  of  learned  Solicitor
        General  is very fair.
        13.      We, accordingly, direct that the acid attack victims shall
        be paid compensation of at least Rs. 3 lakhs by the concerned State
        Government/Union Territory as the  after  care  and  rehabilitation
        cost.  Of this amount,  a sum of Rs 1 lakh shall be  paid  to  such
        victim within 15 days of occurrence  of  such  incident  (or  being
        brought to the notice of the State Government/Union  Territory)  to
        facilitate immediate medical attention and expenses in this regard.
         The balance sum of Rs. 2 lakhs shall be paid as  expeditiously  as
        may be possible and positively within two months  thereafter.   The
        Chief Secretaries of the States and the Administrators of the Union
        Territories shall ensure compliance of the  above direction.
        14.      The Chief Secretaries of the States and Administrators  of
        the Union Territories shall take necessary steps  in  getting  this
        order  translated  into   vernacular   and   publicise   the   same
        appropriately for the information of public at large.
        15.      List the matter on December 3, 2013.


                                 ..................................J.
                                 (R.M. LODHA)








                          .....................................J.
                                  (FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA]
   NEW DELHI
   JULY 18, 2013.














ITEM NO. 1               COURT NO. 3             SECTION PIL


            S U P R E M E   C O U R T   O F   I N D I A
                         RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

               WRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO(s). 129 OF 2006


LAXMI                                             Petitioner(s)

                 VERSUS

UNION OF INDIA  & ORS.                            Respondent(s)

(With appln(s) for permission to file additional documents,  exemption  from
filing O.T. and permission to bring on record the draft of  the  scheme  and
rehabilitation of offence (by acids)  on  women  and  children  by  National
Commission for Women and direction and impleadment and  permission  to  file
counter affidavit and office report )
[for final disposal]


Date: 18/07/2013  This Petition was called on for hearing today.


CORAM :
        HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE R.M. LODHA
        HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA

For Petitioner(s)        Ms. Aparna Bhat,Adv.
                         Ms Rajkumari Banju, Adv.


For Respondent(s)
UOI                      Mr. Mohan Parasaran, SG
                         Mr. W.S.A. Qadri, Adv.
                         Mr. Gaurav Dhingra, Adv.
                         Mr. D.L. Chidanand, Adv.
                         Mr. S.S. Rawat, Adv.
                         Ms. Sunita Sharma, Adv. for
                         Mr. B.K Prasad, Adv.

                         Ms. Sunita Shara,Adv.
                         Ms  V. Bhandari, Adv.
                         Ms. Gargi Khanna, Adv.
                         Mr. S. Saini, Adv. for
                         Mr. D.S. Mahra, Adv.

M.P.                     Mr. C.D.Singh, Adv.
                         Mr. Sunny Choudhary, Adv.

                         : 2 :

Jharkhand                Mr. Jayesh Gaurav, Adv.
                         Mr. Gopal Prasad, Adv.

Meghalaya                Mr. Ranjan Mukherjee, Adv.
                         Mr. T.M. Singh, Adv.

Haryana                  Mr. Manjit Singh, Adv.
                         Mrs. Vivekta Singh, Adv. for
                         Mr. Kamal Mohan Gupta, Adv.

Arunachal Pradesh        Mr. Anil Shrivastava, Adv.
                         Mr. Rituraj Biswas, Adv.

Mizoram                  Mr. K.N. Madhusoodhanan, Adv.
                         Mr. M.T. George, Adv.

Punjab                   Mr. Jayant K. Sud, Adv.
                         Mr. Ujas Kumar, Adv.

Rajasthan                Dr. Manish Singhvi, Adv.
                         Mr. Irshad Ahmad, Adv.


Manipur                  Mr. Khwairakpam Nobin Singh, Adv.
                         Mr. S.Bioswajit Meitei, Adv.

Gujarat                  Ms. Hemantika Wahi, Adv.
                         Ms. Shubhada Deshpande, Adv.


J&K                      Mr Sunil Fernandes, Adv.
                         Ms. Astha Sharma, Adv.
                         Ms. Vernika Tomar, Adv.
                         Ms. Insha Mir, Adv.


Maharashtra              Ms. Asha G. Nair, Adv.
                         Mr. Abhishek Kumar Pandey, Adv.

Bihar                    Mr. Gopal Singh, Adv.
                         Mr. Chandan Kumar, Adv.

Tripura                  Mr. Gopal Singh, Adv
                         Mr. Ritu Raj Biswas, Adv.


UP                       Mr. Pramod Swarup, Sr. Adv.
                         Ms. Pareena Swarup, Adv.
                         Ms. Alka Sinha, Adv. for
                         Mr. Anuvrat Sharma, Adv.

                                 : 3 :

Puducherry               Mr. V.G. Pragasam, Adv.
                         Mr. S. Aristotle, Adv.
                         Mr. Praburamasubramanian, Adv.

Sikkim                   Ms. Aruna Mathur, Adv.
                         Mr.  Yusuf Khan, Adv. for
                         Ms. Movita, Adv. for
                         M/s. Arputham, Aruna and Co.

TAMIL NADU               Mr. M. Yogesh Kanna, Adv.
                         Mr. A. Santha Kumaran, Adv.

ASSAM                    Ms. Vartika Sahay Walia, Adv. for
                         M/s. Corporate Law Group


KARNATAKA                Mr. V.N. Raghupathy, Adv.

UTTRAKHAND               Mr. Prateek Dwivedi, Adv.
                         Mr. Jatinder Kumar Bhatia, Adv.

Himachal Pradesh Mr. Ajay Marwaha, Adv.
                         Mr. Arun K. Sinha, Adv.
                         Mr. Suryanarayana Singh, Adv.
                         Ms. Pragati Neekhra, Adv.

Goa                      Mr. Pratap Venugopal, Adv.
                         Ms. Meenakshi Chauhan, Adv.
                         Mr. Anuj Sharma, Adv.
                         Mr. Gaurav Nair, Adv. for
                         M/s. K.J. John & Co

Andaman & Nicobar        Mr. Balsubramaniam, Adv.
                         Mr. K.V. Jagdisavaran, Adv.
                         Ms. G. Indira, Adv.


Nagland                  Ms. K. Enatoli Soma, Adv.
                         Mr. Amit Kumar Singh, Adv.

Chhattisgarh             Mr. Atul Jha, Adv.
                         Mr. Sandeep Jha, Adv. for
                         Mr. Dharmendra Kumar Sinha, Adv.

West Bengal              Ms. Debjani Das, Adv.
                         Mr. Avijit Bhattacharjee, Adv.
                         Ms. Sarbani Kar, Adv.

U.T. of Chandigarh       Mr. Sangram S. Saron, Adv.
                         Mr Shree Pal Singh, Adv.

                         : 4 :

                         Mr. M.T. George,Adv.

                         Mr. Balaji Srinivasan, Adv.

                         Mr.Anil Shrivastava, Adv.


           UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following
                               O R D E R

                 This Court, in terms of signed order,  has  passed  certain
      directions to the Central  Government,  States/Union  Territories  and
      also directed to list the matter on  December 3, 2013.




        |(Pardeep Kumar)                        | |(Renu Diwan)                          |
|Court Master                           | |Court Master                          |


                 [SIGNED ORDER IS PLACED ON THE FILE]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *