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Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)

HC seeks status report on acid sale

HC seeks status report on acid sale

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 22

Just about two months after the Punjab and Haryana High Court made clear its intent to examine whether the Supreme Court judgment against the unregulated sale of acid was being implemented meticulously in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Bench has called for a status report. The home secretaries have already been directed to file their affidavits.

“The court shall be apprised of further progress on the next date of hearing,” Justice Rajan Gupta asserted while fixing the case for July third week. The direction came after counsel appearing for the Punjab, Haryana and the UT, Chandigarh, assured the court that steps were being taken to implement the judgment “Laxmi versus the Union of India” in letter and spirit.

The amicus curiae or the friend of the court, Ravi Kamal Gupta, had initially submitted before Justice Gupta’s Bench that it was required to be clarified whether the directions laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of “Laxmi versus the Union of India” against unfettered sale of acid were being followed by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in letter and spirit.

The Supreme Court 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 union territories to ensure issuance of an appropriate notification.

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

The directions came on a petition filed by the victim seeking compensation after acid was thrown on her face on April 6, 2006, when she was returning home with four other girls. The Faridabad police failed to arrest the involved and filed an untraced report. The cancellation report was also accepted by the area magistrate concerned.

Justice Gupta, on a previous date of hearing, directed the presence of a CBI official for assisting the court. Justice Gupta had added the issue in such cases should not be confined to giving compensation to the victims. The emphasis was required to be placed on punishing the culprits responsible for such inhuman crimes.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Gupta had noticed that the victim had not only been denied compensation, but proper investigation had also not conducted in this case.

What amicus curiae had said

The amicus curiae or the friend of the court, Ravi Kamal Gupta, had initially submitted before Justice Gupta’s Bench that it was required to be clarified whether the directions laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of “Laxmi versus the Union of India” against unfettered sale of acid were being followed by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in letter and spirit.

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