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Acid Attack: Monthly Payments To Victims, Reservations In Public Employment Etc. :Uttarakhand HC Issues Directions [Read Judgment]

Team SoOLEGAL 14 Jun 2017 8:21am

Acid Attack: Monthly Payments To Victims, Reservations In Public Employment Etc. :Uttarakhand HC Issues Directions [Read Judgment]

In a welcome step, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday issued several directions for rehabilitation of acid attack victims, and for prevention of such instances. These include measures such as monthly payments to the victims who have received third/fourth degree burn injuries, in addition to the ex-gratia lump-sum payment, and reservation in public employment in the category of physically challenged persons. It further directed all Courts across Uttarakhand to conduct day-to-day hearing for concluding the trial in such matters within three months.

The Court was hearing an Appeal filed by the State against a judgment passed in 2010 by the Sessions Judge, Roorkee, District Haridwar, wherein the Court had acquitted a person accused of throwing acid on a 20-year-old postgraduate student.

Observing that Trial Court had taken a “very hyper-technical view”, the High Court set aside the judgment passed by the lower Court, and convicted the accused under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. The Court further relied on various precedents to reiterate that both, private and Government hospitals are responsible to provide immediate medical aid to acid attack victims.

“The incidents of acid burning/throwing cause physical, mental and psychological torture. Every citizen must remember that something which has happened to acid attack victim may also happen with his family members. Every person has a right to life including the right to live free from any kind of mental, physical and psychological torture, be it stalking, sexual harassment, burning etc. The victim of acid burns is stigmatized and traumatized,” the Bench comprising Justice S.K. Sharma and Justice Rajiv Sharma observed. It then issued the following “mandatory directions” to curb and control instances of acid attacks:

  1. “The State Government is directed to constitute a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for the acid attack victims, within a period of four weeks from today as ordered by their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in (2016) 3 SCC 669, Laxmi vs. Union of India and others and other analogous matters.
  2. All the private hospitals throughout the State of Uttarakhand are directed to provide medical assistance to the acid attack victims as per the dicta of Hon’ble Supreme Court in (2016) 3 SCC 669, Laxmi vs. Union of India and others and other analogous matters.
  3. There shall not be any sale of acid over the counter to any individual throughout the State of Uttarakhand except from one licensed dealer to another or by a licensed dealer to any school or college or to any research or medical institution or hospital or dispensary under a registered medical practitioner or any recognized public institution or industrial firm. It is also made clear that if any person is found unauthorizedly selling the acid, an FIR shall also be registered against him.
  4. Since the existing provisions have failed to prevent acid throwing/acid attacks on helpless women, the Senior Superintendents of Police, throughout the State of Uttarakhand, are directed to ensure prompt registration of FIR in the offences pertaining to Sections 326A, 326B, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D of I.P.C. In all such matters, the investigation shall be completed within seven days, under the supervision of the Gazetted Officer, and thereafter, the Challan shall be put up in the competent criminal court within seven days. The Gazetted Officer shall be personally held liable in case of defective investigation.
  5. The cases pertaining to sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism and acid burning are required to be fast tracked. The Trial Courts throughout the State of Uttarakhand are directed to hear the cases registered under Sections 326A, 326B, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D of I.P.C. on day to day basis and conclude the trial within three months and in case, it is not possible to conclude the trial within three months, cogent and sufficient reasons shall be recorded by the Trial Court. The Trial Court shall show due sensitivity in the matters pertaining to the acid attacks.
  6. The State Government is also directed to provide protection to the eye-witnesses during the pendency of the trial in the matters registered under Sections 326A, 326B 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D of I.P.C. till the conclusion of trial.
  7. The State Government is also directed to include the victims of acid attacks in the category of physically challenged persons for the purpose of reservation in public employment and also to make separate scheme for their rehabilitation.
  8. The State Government is directed to ensure that in every district hospital and joint hospital, specialized ward is provided in the cases pertaining to burn injuries to avoid infection within three months from today.
  9. The State Government is further directed to provide free medical aid to the victims of acid attacks till their full recovery.
  10. The State Government is directed to grant ex-gratia payment of Rs.1 lakh to acid attack victims immediately after the registration of FIR and also to pay a sum of Rs.7, 000 per month to the victims who have received third/fourth degree burns injuries. The State is also directed to pay a sum of Rs.5, 000/- per month, in those cases, where the burns injuries are of first degree and second degree. The victims are also entitled to a sum of Rs.3, 00,000/- (rupees three lakh) as ordered by their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

Read the Judgment here.


Source: LiveLaw

Tagged: Acid Attack   Uttarakhand High Court   Laxmi vs. Union of India and others  
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