NEW DELHI — The Centre has asked all states to immediately arrest people involved in acid attack cases and take proactive steps to ensure justice as it will act as a deterrent to the culprits and provide solace to the victims.
In a communication, the Home Ministry has asked all states and union territories to seriously consider immediate apprehension of culprits in acid attack cases against women and fast tracking of justice.
"The whole objective of providing stringent punishment provisions in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 is to increase deterrent value against perpetrators of the crime.
"Hence, it is requested that states and UTs must take proactive measures to expedite investigation, trial of the acid attack cases and bring them under a definite time frame," the letter sent by Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Kumar Alok on April 20 said.
The Home Ministry said a comprehensive approach in tackling these types of crimes would go a long way in solving this menace.
"Hence it is again reiterated that states and UTs must take proactive measures to expedite investigation, trial, treatment and compensation and bring them under a definite time frame. This will not only have a deterrent effect but also provide solace to the victims and their family," the letter said.
The Ministry has also sent a copy of the decisions taken at a meeting on March 14 by Union Home Secretary L C Goyal with all states specifying steps to be taken in the event of such a crime being committed.
"The administrative machinery of the state will ensure full and free treatment of acid attack victims and minimum compensation of Rs three lakh must be provided to acid attack victims under Victim Compensation scheme.
"In case of acid attack victims, treatment and compensation are to be treated separately. While treatment of victim should be primary consideration, the disbursal of compensation should also be expedited within the time frame stipulated by the Supreme Court," it said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday had said the government is contemplating to make available online data on the sale of acid.
"We are developing a software for online regularisation of sale of acid. It is under process," Singh said in Lok Sabha.
Minister of State for Home Haribhai Chaudhary said state governments have been asked to ensure that acid is sold to a person above 18 years of age, the buyer has a photo identity card and a register is maintained to track the use of acid.
He said Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of acid attack cases with 186 such incidents reported in the state out of the 310 cases registered across the country in 2014.
Chaudhary said 27 acid attack cases were registered in Delhi, the highest among all union territories.