Setting the stage for enforcement of a nationwide ban on unregulated sale of acid, the Home Ministry has notified model poison rules for states and told them to immediately tell shopkeepers to get a licence to sell 21 notified corrosive chemicals.
HT had run an extensive campaign for acid attack victims and had also advocated for stricter regulations on the sale of acid.
The rules were vetted by the SC last month on a PIL filed by Laxmi, a class-VII Delhi girl who had acid thrown on her after she rejected overtures by a 32-year-old man. Laxmi had asked the court to put an end to unregulated sale of acid.
The central notification issued on Friday requires shopkeepers to get a licence to sell the chemicals, maintain a register of its stock of chemicals and sale details.
Customers will need to show their identity proof and declare why they are buying the acid. Shopkeepers who do not maintain the register or do not declare their stocks within 15 days can be fined up to Rs. 50,000.
In his letter sent to states on Friday, S Suresh Kumar - joint secretary at the home ministry - asked chief secretaries to notify the rules under the Poison Act 1919 within three months.
But in the interim, Kumar said, action would need to be taken immediately in states which do not have any rules to regulate sale of corrosive substances.