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SC voices concern over rehabilitation of acid attack victims

SC voices concern over rehabilitation of acid attack victims
A social justice bench, comprising justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit, directed the Union Home Secretary to convene a meeting of chief secretaries and their counterparts in states in four weeks to work out modalities to implement Section 357C of the CrPC (Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013).

It mandates provision of free treatment by public and private hospitals to the victims of acid attack.

“How do you propose to implement Section 357C of CrPC? What is the mechanism for providing free treatment? Parliament has passed a legislation and it has to be implemented. “We direct Union Home Secretary to file an affidavit in the form of a chart in this regard within six weeks,” the bench, while hearing a PIL filed in 2006 by Delhi-based acid attack victim Laxmi, said.

During the hearing, advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for an acid victim, told the apex court that earlier directions issued by the apex court have been complied with, except on the issue of the State bearing 100 per cent cost of treatment.

“Haryana has framed a scheme for providing 100 per cent medical expenses for specialised plastic surgery, corrective surgeries and specialised psychological treatment to the acid attack victims. Other states are yet not clear on their stand,” she said. Expressing concern over the “erratic” compensation being paid to acid attack victims, Bhat told the apex court that the post-operative care of the victims was also very poor.

Earlier, the apex court had asked Chief Secretaries of all states to file response on providing free-of-cost treatment, including plastic surgery, to acid attack victims. In a bid to curb acid attacks on women, the apex court had earlier directed that this crime be made a non-bailable offence and enhanced to Rs three lakh the compensation amount for the victim.
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