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NCW holds all India meet on acid attack; key focus on stopping unregulated sale | Latest News India

The national commission for women (NCW) on Wednesday conducted an ‘All India Nodal Officers Meeting on Acid Attack’ which was attended by 23 Nodal Officers and representatives from states across India.

The meeting was chaired by NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma, who emphasised on the need to bring an end to the unregulated sale of acid and other corrosive substances and the need for proper rehabilitation of acid attack victims.

A government press release while quoting the NCW chairperson wrote, “Despite the Supreme Court’s ban, the truth is that acid still remains available for sale. It must be ensured that strict provisions are kept in place to stop the unregulated sale of acid. No society can be considered civilized if it does not act to prevent such a heinous atrocity on women”.

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While demanding that the district magistrates be deemed as the only official authority to regulate the sale of acid and confirm stocks after 15 days, the NCW chairperson called for strict imposing of regulations and regular reporting on the sale of acid.

“Some of the recommendations given during the meeting are; conducting an extensive campaign to raise awareness about gender sensitivity in schools, universities, and among law enforcement and other institutions. The group also recommended treating victims of petrol and diesel attacks in the same way as victims of acid attacks in terms of compensation. The panel also suggested providing financial support to private hospitals for free medical care for acid attack victims, reservation in government jobs for acid attack survivors, and setting up a corpus fund for them through corporate social responsibility,” the release added.

The NCW in the meeting further called on the censor board to restrict the glorification of revenge plots in movies, streamlining the compensation process for victims, enabling more rehabilitation and employment opportunities for survivors of acid attacks as per the release, while attesting that ‘the Commission would be taking all the recommendations discussed during the meeting forward to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to help women affected by acid attacks and for prevention of such cases.’

In 2013, the Supreme Court took cognizance of acid attacks and passed an order on the regulation of sales of corrosive substances.

Based on the order, the MHA issued an advisory to all states on how to regulate acid sales and framed the Model Poisons Possession and Sale Rules, 2013 under The Poisons Act, 1919; which asked states to frame their own rules based on model rules, as the matter fell under the purview of states.

According to the MHA’s directions and the model rules, over-the-counter sale of acid was not allowed unless the seller maintains a detailed logbook/register recording the sale of acid.

The sale is also to be made only when the buyer (who should be 18+) produces a photo ID containing his address issued by the government.

Sellers are also required to declare all stocks of acid with the concerned sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) within 15 days and in case of undeclared stock of acid.

The SDM can confiscate the stock and suitably impose a fine of up to 50,000 for a breach of any of the directions.

In August last year, MHA issued another advisory to all States/ UTs to review and ensure that the retail sale of acids and chemicals is strictly regulated in terms of the Poison Rules so that these are not used in crime.

The Model Poisons Possession and Sale Rules, 2013 says that any person found selling acids in violation of the procedure prescribed under the Model Rules on Possession and Sales of Acids, 2013 shall be liable to punishment which may be imprisonment for one month for a first-time offence and for a term which may extend to six months for any subsequent offences.

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