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Provide free treatment to acid attack victims: Apex Court to private hospitals

In a far reaching judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered private hospitals across the country to provide immediate and free treatment to acid attack victims.

The apex court directed the private hospitals to also include corrective surgeries in treatment to be provided to acid attack victims.

Private hospitals have also been directed to issue certificates to such people endorsing them as acid attack victims. The certificate will be issued by the first hospital that an acid attack victim approaches and will be used for claiming future benefits.

The court also observed that governments should provide Rs. 3 lakh financial relief to acid attack victims.

The directive came a day after the Centre told the court that private hospitals were bound to provide not just first aid to acid attack victims and but also free-of-cost treatment.

Hospitals refusing first aid or free treatment to such people should be penalised, the government had told the court.

The Centre had last month directed all states to ensure speedy disbursal of compensation amount as well as timely treatment for them.

The year 2014 had registered a sharp increase in the number of acid attacks registered in a calendar year.

While 83, 85 and 66 such cases were registered in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively, the number jumped to 309 in 2014.

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