The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to frame a policy for free medical treatment and rehabilitation of acid attack victims keeping in view the recommendations made by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to the Centre.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, including the one filed by Chandigarh-based Poor Patients Relief Society.
The court directed both the states and Chandigarh to consider the report of the NCW sent to the Centre in January 2009, while making the policy.
In its report, the NCW had recommended payment of interim compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the acid attack victims within a month of the attack, total payment of expenses of the treatment up to Rs. 25 lakh, including interim compensation, and payment of Rs. 5 lakh towards compensation/ rehabilitation.
However, on the suggestions submitted by advocate HC Arora on behalf of the petitioner society with regard to providing of horizontal reservation to such victims in government jobs or including such victims in the definition of disabled persons or allotment of fair price shops to them, the court said these suggestions would be considered at the time of final consideration of the issue of rehabilitation.
When the Punjab government’s counsel submitted the notification issued on June 17, enhancing compensation to acid attack victims to Rs. 3 lakh in case of face disfigurement and Rs. 50,000 for other injury cases, the court said, “The notification does not take care of free medical treatment of acid attack victims and their rehabilitation.”
The court also impleaded acid attack victims Inderjit Kaur of Morinda and Neha Kakkar of Chandigarh as petitioners No 2 and 3 in the ongoing case.
The case will come up for hearing on August 23.
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