HC awards life term for two in acid attack case

Student was attacked in 2002, lost vision in both his eyes

In a major relief to an acid attack victim, the High Court on Monday sentenced two persons convicted of the offence to life imprisonment along with imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

The verdict, which came after a span of 10 years, can be seen as justice delivered to Sudesh, a resident of KGF, who was blinded in the acid attack.

The Division Bench comprising Justice K Bhaktavatsala and Justice H S Kempanna, which set aside a trial court order, has not only sentenced the accused Amanullah and Moinuddin to life imprisonment, but has also directed them to pay a sum of Rs one lakh each to the victim.

Sudesh, a diploma student in KGF, was in love with Naheeda, his neighbour.
Although Sudesh’s parents had consented for the marriage as Naheeda’s parents objected to it.

However, Sudesh and Naheeda continued the affair. Being aware of it, Moinuddin, the girl’s brother, threatened Sudesh with dire consequences.

When the couple did not heed his threat, Moinuddin and his friend Amanullah hatched a plan. On May 1, 2002, the two threw nitric acid on Sudesh at a library.

The acid blinded Sudesh in both the eyes. He also suffered severe burns on the face, neck and chest.

On July 3, 2006, the trial court acquitted Moinuddin and Amanullah citing lack of evidence. The court acquitted the accused on the grounds that victim Sudesh, the prime witness in the case, could not reveal the identity of the accused during the medical examination.

When the State appealed before the High Court, Additional State Public Prosecutor (ASPP) N S Sampangiramaiah submitted that the trial court had erred in not considering the evidence. The ASPP highlighted a Supreme Court order which laid down that the victim need not mention the name of the accused in the FIR or even testify before the doctor.

The Division Bench upheld the contention of the State, setting aside the trial court order and observed that the duty of the doctor was not to record any statement but to treat the patients. The Bench said that the victim, being in a state of unbearable pain at the time of the incident, could not possibly be in a position to identify the accused or reveal details and motive of the accused.

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