New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will wait for the Centre and the state governments to explore ways to regulate sale of acids for domestic use before it imposes a ban on the chemical, being increasingly used to attack women.
Expressing displeasure that the matter has been pending for seven years, a bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said the apex court will consider banning sale of acids for domestic consumption if the state and the Central governments do not come out with a scheme.
The bench, also comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, was hearing a PIL filed in 2006 by Delhi-based acid attack victim Laxmi, who was then a minor. Her arms, face and other body parts were disfigured in an acid attack.
The SC said it will consider banning sale of acids if the Centre and the states didn't come out with a scheme soon.
The court was concerned with the gravity of the offence of acid attacks and the increasing frequency with which they are happening. "Matter has been pending for seven years," it said. "Acid attack is a serious offence and is happening quite regularly," the bench said, while posting the matter for further hearing on July 9.
Earlier, on February 6, the court had directed the Centre to convene in six weeks a meeting of Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to hold discussion for enacting a law to regulate the sale of acids and a policy for treatment, compensation and care and rehabilitation of such victims.
The bench had said that for evolving such a policy, the Secretary, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers, and secretaries concerned from the states would be involved.