The court said that acid should be sold only to people who show a valid identity card.

Buyers will also have explain why they need the chemical and sales will have to be reported to the police.

There will also be more compensation for victims. There are an estimated 1,000 acid attacks a year in India.

The victims, who have to live with terrible disfigurements, are mainly women and are often targeted by jealous partners, correspondents say.

In Thursday's ruling, the Supreme Court ordered that acid should be not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. It also ruled that there should be no bail allowed for the offence.

In addition, victims of acid attacks will be entitled to more financial help from state governments - the court said compensation of at least 300,000 rupees (£3,320; $5,000) must be paid to help rehabilitate them after their ordeal.