High Court summons senior Punjab officers over sale of acid

CHANDIGARH:Taking cognizance of unregulated sale of acid against the provisions of law, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has summoned officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

High Court summons senior Punjab officers over sale of acid

shalender@tribune.com

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 7

Taking cognizance of unregulated sale of acid against the provisions of law, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has  summoned officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

The direction by Justice Rajan Gupta came after the amicus curiae or the friend of the court Ravi Kamal Gupta pointed out that acid was still freely available in the market. Sellers were not maintaining the record of the quantity of acid sold, nor were the SDMs declaring the stocks of acid sold within 15 days as was desideratum of judgment Laxmi versus Union of India and others. “On a query being put to counsel appearing for Punjab, Haryana and UT, no clear answer is forthcoming. It is, thus, directed that officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary of Punjab, Haryana and UT shall remain present in the court on the next date of hearing,” Justice Gupta added, while fixing the case for further hearing in January next.

The Supreme Court in Laxmi’s case had directed the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the issue of banning the sale of acid across the counter with the state governments and UTs to ensure issuance of an appropriate notification.

The Supreme Court had added that some states/UTs had already issued such a notification. But, in its opinion, all states and UTs were required to issue such a notification at the earliest.

Justice Gupta, on a previous date of hearing, had made clear the Bench’s intent to examine whether the Supreme Court judgment against unregulated sale of acid was being implemented meticulously in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The home secretaries, too, were directed to file their affidavits.

The direction came after the amicus curiae submitted it was required to be clarified whether the directions laid down by the Supreme Court in Laxmi’s case against unfettered sale of acid were being followed by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in letter and spirit.  

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