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Supreme Court objects to Allahabad HC's relying on Rs 25 lakh offer by convicts to acid attack victim

The bench said that an acid attack may completely strip off the victim of her basic human right to live a decent human life owing to permanent disfiguration.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 14:15 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 14:15 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) has said mere sufferance of incarceration for a particular period, in a case where life imprisonment is imposed, cannot be a reason to suspend the sentence in an appeal without referring to the other relevant factors.

A bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal set aside the Allahabad High Court's order suspending life term of five convicts in an acid attack case.

Acting on a plea by Shivani Tyagi, the apex court noted that the HC went by the fact that the convicts offered Rs 25 lakh to the victim.

"We are deeply peeved on perusing the HC judgment, for the same reflects only non-application of mind and non-consideration of the relevant factors despite the fact that the case involved an acid attack on a young woman resulting into permanent disfiguration," Justice Ravikumar said.

The bench said that an acid attack may completely strip off the victim of her basic human right to live a decent human life owing to permanent disfiguration.

It also objected to the HC's enlarging the convicts on bail, also taking view of their offer of Rs 25 lakh to the victim.

"It was in a way kind of “blood money” offered by the convicts to the victim for which there is no acceptability in our criminal justice system," Justice Bindal said.

In two separate and concurring judgements, the two judges said that the factors like nature of the offence held to have committed, the manner of their commission, the gravity of the offence, and also the desirability of releasing the convict on bail are to be considered objectively and such consideration should reflect in the consequential order passed under Section 389, CrPC.

Justice Bindal also pointed out that this court had been taking the offence of acid attacks, which are on increase, seriously.

It is even to the extent of regulating the sale of the acid with stringent action so that the same is not easily available to the people with perverse mind, he pointed out.

In his judgment, Justice Ravikumar said, "Section 389, CrPC, in the case of short-term imprisonment for conviction of an offence, suspension of sentence is the normal rule, and its rejection is the exception."

"However, we are of the considered view that the position should be vice-versa in the case of conviction for serious offences when invocation of power under Section 389 is invited," he said.

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Published 27 April 2024, 14:15 IST

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