Unregulated ACID-ity: DCW issues notice to Divisional Commissioner, Delhi, over irregularity in the sale of acid

The Divisional Commissioner, Delhi Government, has been issued a notice by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), which seeks action against SDMs who have not been implementing rules for the regulation of acid sale in their jurisdiction. 

The Delhi Government had passed an order for regulating acid sales, empowering the area SDM to impose a penalty of up to Rs. 50,000/- for violations. Woefully in Delhi, the acid sale continues openly. DCW issued notices in August 2022 to all District Magistrates in the national capital to ascertain the implementation status of the Delhi Government order, seeking specific information regarding acid sales in their district, a number of SDM inspections conducted, penalization and amounts collected.

Additionally, guidelines regarding the usage of the collected amount and year-wise expenditure details were sought. In addition, the responses received from all Delhi districts raise several concerns as several irregularities were observed. 

For instance, since 2017 till date, the SDMs of Shahadara and North District have conducted no inspections. Besides 554 inspections conducted within the New Delhi district, none have been conducted in most districts; however, hardly any penalties are being imposed against unregulated acid sales.

Ms Maliwal stated, “Acid continues to be sold freely in the Capital. Unfortunately, the districts are not checking the unregulated sale of Acid properly. As a result, two districts have failed to conduct even a single inspection in the past six years in this regard, and five districts have failed to impose even a single penalty.”

DCW pointed out the realities to the Divisional Commissioner regarding continued unregulated acid sales in Delhi and, by extension, the many incidents of acid attacks which had occurred in the state. In addition, he was asked to inform about measures taken by his office towards ensuring the proper implementation of the rules regarding the regulation of acid sale in Delhi, in addition to what action was taken against Shahadara and North districts for zero inspections being conducted over the past six years. Finally, the commission further sought a detailed report regarding using the Rs 36.5 lacs of penalties collected since 2017 for acid attack survivors’ rehabilitation efforts. 

The article has been edited by Mr. Indraneel Chakrabarty (email address: arnw_ind@outlook.com).

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