acid attack victims to pursue compensation

Although the statute of limitations has passed, Bombay HC permits victims of the 2010 acid attack to pursue compensation.


The Petitioners were victims of an acid attack that happened on 4th October 2010, they underwent prolonged medical treatment and incurred substantial expenses. They filed a writ petition seeking fair compensation within a specific timeframe. While the writ petition was ongoing, on April 17th, 2017, an interim ruling granted the petitioners Rs. 5,00,000/- as interim compensation.

Contention of the Parties:

The Government pleader placed on record a collection of documents, including a plan named the ‘Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes, 2022.’ This scheme outlines that The Maharashtra Legal Services Authority and the District Legal Services Authority are designated as the nodal agencies for facilitating the determination and distribution of compensation under the scheme.

Advocate for the Petitioner acknowledged that the requests outlined in sections (c) and (c-i) of the writ petition are addressed by the abovementioned 2022 Scheme. They express the petitioners’ intention to seek benefits from this scheme. However, they point out that Clause 16 of the scheme imposes a time limit, requiring claims to be submitted within three years from either the date of the offense or the conclusion of the trial. They note that in this case, the incident occurred on October 4th, 2010, and the trial ended in 2015. Therefore, they request that the petitioners’ claims be considered valid despite the stipulated limitation period.

Court’s Order:

On 3rd April 2024, the High Court noted that Clause 16 of the scheme allowed for condonation of delays beyond three years in deserving cases. Considering the Petitioners’ situation, having endured an acid attack and subsequently approached the court for compensation, the court deemed their case deserving. While their petition was ongoing, the 2022 Scheme was introduced. Therefore, the court permitted the Petitioners to apply for compensation under the 2022 Scheme. The court directed the petitioners to submit their application within four weeks from the given date. The application would be evaluated on its own merits and in accordance with the law. The court resolved the matter in these terms, leaving all grounds for compensation raised in the writ petition open. Additionally, any pending interim applications were also resolved.

By Adv. Deeksha Rai

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