Bombay HC Says Acid Attack Survivors Entitled To Compensation, Medical Aid, Rehab

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Compensation for Acid Attack Survivors: Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to give compensation of ₹10 lakh to an acid attack survivor from Mumbai.

The court also emphasised that the survivors of acid attacks are entitled to free medical aid and rehabilitation in addition to the compensation under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities( PWD) Act of 2016.

The high court directed the state government to pay the compensation amount to the survivor within three months. Justices Ujjal Bhuvan and Madhav Jambhar asked the government to deposit 75% of the compensation amount in a fixed deposit and credit the rest to her individual savings account.

According to the court order, the survivor will be assisted by the secretary of the Mumbai District Legal Services Authority in securing disability registration and further compensation under the NALSA Scheme, the Central Victim Compensation Fund Guidelines and the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The secretary has also been directed to ensure that the survivor gets free medical treatment including surgeries and rehabilitation measures.

The survivor in the case is a mother of two from Dahisar East. She was allegedly assaulted by her husband in 2010. The woman was reportedly sleeping in the afternoon of November 24, 2010, when her husband allegedly poured a boiling inflammable corrosive substance on her face and body. As a result of which, the woman suffered 70 to 80% superficial and deep burn injuries. Her body parts and face were also disfigured.

As per reports, she filed a petition in Bombay High Court in March this year seeking compensation under Maharashtra’s Manodhairya Scheme. The survivor claimed that she spent five lakh rupees for her treatment and did not receive any money from the state government. She also demanded additional compensation for corrective surgeries. The survivor’s ears were damaged and she was not able to wear glasses for her eye defect.

The Bombay High Court accepted her demands considering section 357A of the Criminal Procedure Code and the PWD Act.

Under the PWD Act, the High Court noted the ‘specified disability’ under section 2(zc). The section defines disability in terms of visual impairment, physical disability, hearing impairment among others. The ‘physical disability’ part included acid attack survivors.

The Bench said, “Therefore, an acid attack victim would be construed to be a person suffering from a specified disability.”