The Sindh Cabinet has approved the Sindh Regulation for storage, sale, and purchase of Acid Rules, 2022. The unregulated sale of a corrosive substance, such as acid, was highlighted by the Depilex Smileagain Foundation by filing a Constitutional petition before the High Court of Sindh through its counsel Mr. Rashid Mahar, Barrister Vishal Shamsi, and Ms. Anushka Khan.
What Is Depilex Smileagain?
Depilex Smileagain Foundation is an organization formed by Ms. Masarrat Misbah, a distinguished cosmetologist and philanthropist of Pakistan who is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance. Depilex Smileagain Foundation has provided medical treatment and rehabilitation for over 760 acid and kerosene burn victims.
The Regulatory Approval by Sindh Government for Acid
Depilex Smileagain Foundation brought to the attention of a division bench of the High Court of Sindh. The Honorable Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh, and Mr. Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed who sought reports from the Secretary to the Government of Sindh on any existing rules concerning the sale, storage, and purchase of acid. The Government of Sindh convened a consultative meeting with several departments to determine the rules on the sale, storage, and purchase of acid existed. So, it is transpired that the rules under the Poisons Act of 1919 have not yet been framed.
Therefore, the Home Department formulated rules regarding the sale, storage, and purchase of acid, that were subsequently approved by the Law Department. The Rules were approved by the Honorable Chief Minister of Sindh and were placed before the Provincial Cabinet for approval. Hence, the Provincial Cabinet approved the rules that will regulate and prevent the widespread accessibility of acid. Thus, the rules will prove as the first line of defense to combat acid-related crimes.
Rules For Acid Licensing
The Poisons Act of 1919 was designed to prevent the crime of throwing acid on people by regulating the sale of acid. Hence, the Rules provide a license requirement for specified persons to sell, store or purchase acid and make it mandatory for the license holder to maintain a register recording:
- the date of sale
- the name and address of the purchaser, along with a copy of his CNIC
- the name and quantity of acid sold
- the purpose of the purchase
- the signature of the purchaser.
Thus, previously no legislation existed regarding the regulation of the sale and purchase of acid, and the corrosive substance was available on a widespread without any such regulatory or control.
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