A United Act of Central And State Government for the Relief of Acid Attack Victims

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A final solace for acid attack victims from the Central Government shows the high concern over this highly sensitive issue that was a scar in a democratic nation. The Central Government on Saturday on a core meeting presided over by Union Home Secretary L.C Goyal and attended by representatives of State Governments decided for speedy and timely treatment and compensation for acid attack victims in accordance with the provision of section 357 C of Code of Criminal Procedure. The direction is given to all State Governments.

Section 357 C of the code clearly states that every hospital run by Central Government, state Government, public or private authorities, local bodies or by any other person shall provide first aid or medical treatment immediately free of cost to the victims subject to any offence comes u/s 326A, 376, 376A, 376 B, 376 C, 376 D and 376 E of Indian Penal Code.

The Health secretary Mr B.P Sharma emphasized on and advised the State Governments to utilize the provisions of Clinical Establishment Act for providing immediate first aid treatment or any appropriate medical treatment to the victims who are subject to the heinous act. He offered the service of Government doctors for plastic surgery for the victims in the specialized institutions or hospitals identified by the health ministry.

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Many State Governments had taken initiative to give compensation to the victims but there was no uniform fixation of compensation rate. Hence as directed by the Supreme Court on February 6, high official meeting was convened by the officials of Central and State Government to reach a decision on the medical treatment and compensation for the victims. The Supreme Court had given direction to pay Rs 3 lakhs as compensation for victims by the State Governments concerned.

A good hope is given for the initiation of victim compensation scheme and treatment pursuant to the Hon’ble Supreme Court direction. Victims who come under the purview of specific section of CrPC are subject to the compensation scheme. According to the amendment of Criminal law Amendment 2013, the punishment for the violent crime of acid throwing is for 10 years  or life imprisonment.

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by Dhanya R.