The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over the growing number of acid attacks in the country, and asked the central and state governments for an explanation over the slow pace of rehabilitation of victims of such violence.
The top court questioned the central government for its "laxity" in dealing with the problem despite its directions to restrict open sale of the corrosive substance in the market.
"It's pathetic. Such incidents still continue to take place," said a Supreme Court bench hearing a public interest litigation filed by Bihar-based NGO Parivartan Kendra. "Why is there laxity on your part?"
Last year, the court responded to a petition by prominent acid attack survivor and activist Laxmi, by directing state governments to
frame rules to regulate the sale of acid and make such attacks a non-bailable offence. Laxmi was 15 when she was pinned down by a man twice her age and splashed with acid in the Capital. Nine years later, she leads a fierce campaign against such violence, and has become the face of the movement.
In response to her appeal, the court also made it mandatory to compensate a victim with Rs 3 lakh, of which Rs 1 lakh has to be paid within 15 days of the incident.
The deadline to initiate the measures was March 31. The court is yet to hear the matter again.
HT ran a campaign last year, highlighting the plight of acid attack survivors and their courage in the face of adversity and virtual social ostracism.
Acid attacks are a way of causing permanent damage or dishonour to a woman. Activists claim 80 per cent of such incidents take place when a man gets angry after a woman rejects a marriage offer or other advances to start a romantic relationship.