HC asks Delhi govt to pay for treatment of acid attack victim

Bench observed that ‘state owes a duty to provide free medical treatment to acid attack victims’.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: March 19, 2016 4:33:00 am
acid-attack The victim had approached the Delhi High Court with a plea seeking enhanced compensation of Rs 50 lakh.

The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Delhi government to provide free medical treatment to Renu, a 29-year-old acid attack victim who has been undergoing treatment for the injuries she suffered in the 2006 attack.

Observing that the “state owes a duty to provide free medical treatment to acid attack victims,” the bench of Justice Manmohan, in an interim order, directed that Renu be admitted to LNJP Hospital for further treatment.

The bench also observed that the ceiling of Rs 7 lakh for medical treatment of an acid attack survivor — under the Victim Compensation Scheme — was “arbitrary and unreasonable in some cases,” as Renu had suffered serious injuries, including loss of vision in both eyes.

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The victim had approached the Delhi High Court with a plea seeking enhanced compensation of Rs 50 lakh.
She told the court that her treatment over the past 10 years had cost more than Rs 30 lakh, and her father, a Group D government employee, had not been able to pay for it.

The bench, in its order, noted that Senior Standing Counsel of Delhi government Rahul Mehra had accepted that the issue would be taken on compassionate basis. The court directed that Renu’s medical bills till date should be reimbursed after due scrutiny.

The bench also directed the Delhi government to give Renu a job, in accordance with her educational qualifications and medical status.

The government has been directed to file its response to the plea, which sought court orders to frame a “comprehensive rehabilitation scheme for acid attack survivors for housing, education, and employment”.

Renu was 19 years old when a tenant in her family home threw acid on her face, in retaliation for his tenancy being cancelled.

According to her plea, filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, Renu was granted compensation of Rs 3 lakh in 2015. Until then, she had not received any financial aid from the government for her medical treatment, said the plea.

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