The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre, states and Union territories to respond to a plea for restricting the sale of acid to prevent attacks on women by jilted lovers.
A bench headed by justice RV Raveendran sought to know if any suitable scheme could be prepared by governments to provide adequate compensation to the victims for their treatment and rehabilitation.
The directions came after advocate Aparna Bhat, representing a Delhi-based victim, whose face was disfigured permanently, after she was attacked with acid by a man she refused to marry.
Bhat said even after six plastic surgeries there was hardly much improvement in her disfigured face.
She demanded a total ban of sale of acid in view of increasing number of incidents of such attacks on women in different states. She cited the recent case of Andhra Pradesh where a college girl was attacked with acid by a fellow student.
"It may be impractical to ban the substance totally. Because if there are knife attacks, we can't ban use of knives," the bench remarked.
Bhat told the court Bangladesh had banned the use of acid and it was possible to do so in India also.
Even a small-time grocer sold acid at throwaway prices, which made it easier for culprits to procure it for the attacks, she said.
The bench said it could explore if there was any the sale of the substance could be regulated only for industrial use.