The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Centre for not being "serious" about framing a policy to curb sale of acid in order to prevent acid attack cases.
A bench headed by justice RM Lodha said that people are dying everyday due to acid attacks but the Centre has failed to frame a policy despite assurances given by it on the last hearing on April 16.
"Seriousness is not seen on the part of government in handling the issue," the bench said, while granting one week's time as a last opportunity to the Centre to frame policy in consultation with state governments.
"People are dying, but you are not worried about it. Think of people who are losing their lives everyday. Girls are being attacked everyday in different parts of the country," the bench said.
It also said, "with heavy heart this court had passed an order in April, but the government failed to come out with any scheme to curb sale of acid in the market".
The bench made it clear that if the Centre fails to come out with such a scheme on the next date of hearing, July 16, then it would pass orders.
On April 16, the apex court had said it would 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.
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.
The court 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 the acid attack.