A special women’s court on Friday convicted film professional Jerrit John of throwing acid on and grievously injuring his then-girlfriend Aryanka Hosbetkar in November 2012. Special judge Vrushali Joshi sentenced John to five years rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 20,000, which the court said should be given to Hosbetkar, who was 26 at the time of the attack. The court, however, acquitted John of the charge of attempt to murder.
John owns a production house named ‘No Nonsense’ and has produced and directed television serials. According to the police, he threw acid at Hosbetkar, an international cyclist, at her home at Adarsh Colony, Worli, on November 8, 2012. The police said he had also tried to kill her for refusing to continue her relationship with him.
While convicting John, the court observed that “the offence of attempt to murder is not proved by the prosecution but the act attracts the provision of Section 326 (causing grievous hurt) of Indian Penal Code”.
“The accused has caused grievous hurt by means of corrosive substance which he has splashed on her face. In this case, the accused used hydrochloric acid,” the court observed.
About the injuries sustained by Hosbetkar, the court said, “The evidence of the doctors proves that the injuries caused to victim are due to contact with a corrosive substance. Though the nature of injury is simple, mental trauma and shock of a sudden acid attack should be considered in this case.”
Special public prosecutor Kalpana Chavan had submitted in her final argument that John had set out to blind Hosbetkar. “He knew that her eyes were weak as he himself had taken her to doctors. He knew that even if he threw diluted acid, it would be enough to affect her vision. His act was very well planned,” she said.
Chavan examined 22 witnesses to build the case that John had planned the attack well in advance. Chavan contended John had ordered four chemicals, including hydrochloric acid, using fake names, which revealed his criminal intentions.
John disputed the prosecution’s story. He will challenge the verdict in the Bombay high court.