SC shocked over 30-day jail for acid attacker

SC shocked over 30-day jail for acid attacker

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed “shock” over the 30-day jail term awarded to a man who poured acid on a woman for refusing to marry him.

“When a substantive sentence of 30 days is imposed, in the crime of the present nature, that is, acid attack on a young girl, the sense of justice, if we allow ourselves to say so, is not only ostracised, but also unceremoniously sent to ‘Vanaprastha’. It is wholly impermissible,” said a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi.

The apex court set aside an Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement on a petition filed by the victim, and restored a trial court order that awarded the man imprisonment for one year.

“The case at hand is an example of uncivilised and heartless crime committed by the respondent No 2 (main accused). It is completely unacceptable that the concept of leniency can be conceived of in such a crime. A crime of this nature does not deserve any kind of clemency. It is individually as well as collectively intolerable,” it said.

No justification

Observing that “not for nothing, it has been stated stains of acid has roots forever”, the court also ordered the Andhra Pradesh government and the man to pay the victim Rs 3 lakh and Rs 50,000, respectively, as compensation for having suffered disfigurement.

The man had on May 24, 2003, entered her house in East Godavari district and poured a bottle of acid over her head. The bench noted when there was medical as well as other evidence and the conviction was approved, there was no justification for the high court to reduce the sentence to the period already undergone.

The court said the man might not have suffered emotional distress by the denial, yet the said feeling could not to be converted into vengeance to have the licence to act in a manner like he has done.

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