Private Hospitals to provide free treatment to acid attack victims: SC

The Supreme Court of India has directed private hospitals to provide full treatment to victims of acid attack and action may be taken against the hospitals or clinics that refuse to do so.

“The State Governments/Union Territories should seriously discuss and take up the matter with all the private hospitals in their respective State/Union Territory to the effect that the private hospitals should not refuse treatment to victims of acid attack and that full treatment should be provided to such victims including medicines, food, bedding and reconstructive surgeries”, a social justice Bench of the Court ruled.

The Bench said that no hospital/clinic should refuse treatment citing lack of specialized facilities, and action may be taken against hospital/clinic for refusal to treat victims of acid attacks.

The Court also said that a compensation of INR 3,00,000 to each victim of acid attack will not be burdensome so far as the State Governments/Union Territories are concerned.

The Court further ordered that “the hospital, where the victim of an acid attack is first treated, should give a certificate that the individual is a victim of an acid attack. This certificate may be utilized by the victim for treatment and reconstructive surgeries or any other scheme that the victim may be entitled to with the State Government or the Union Territory, as the case may be.”

With regard to the banning of sale of acid across the counter, the Court directed the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with the State Governments/Union Territories to ensure that an appropriate notification to this effect is issued within a period of three months from the date of the order.

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