The court of additional district and sessions judge Sandeep Duggal on Tuesday sentenced three convicts to life imprisonment and two others to 10 years of jail in connection with Ritu Saini acid attack case. The court also directed all of them to pay Rs 50,000 each as compensation to the victim.
The incident took place on May 26, 2012, in Rohtak when Neeraj and Pradeep, both residents of Jind district, had thrown acid on Ritu Saini at Sainipura Chowk when she was going to play volleyball. Ritu had lost her right eye and her face and neck had got disfigured due to severe burn injuries.
The police arrested Neeraj and Pradeep, who told during interrogation that Ritu's cousin Ram Niwas had hatched the conspiracy as the victim had refused his 'indecent proposal.'
Two others, Manjeet and Rajupuri alias Raju, had arranged acid for the crime. Besides, Manjeet's bike was used by the assailants for committing the crime.
The police had booked Neeraj, Pradeep and Ram Niwas under section 307(attempt to murder), while Manjeet and Rajupuri alias Raju were booked under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Apart from paying the fine to the victim, Neeraj, Pradeep and Ram Niwas will pay a fine of Rs 10,000. A fine of Rs 5,000 has been imposed on Manjeet and Raju as well.
Rajwanti, Sohan Lal and Sanjay, who were also booked for helping the accused, were acquitted by the court due to no concrete evidence. Sohan and Sanjay had allegedly acted as guarantor on behalf of Ram Niwas for paying Rs 1 lakh to Neeraj and Pradeep.
During the trails, three persons including Ritu and her elder brother Lalit Kumar had identified the acid throwers. Victim's brother Ravi Saini said though every punishment was less, the family was satisfied with the verdict.
Call details help track convicts
The court said that Ram Niwas, the perpetrator, had left the spot in his Alto car after identifying Ritu on her way to volleyball ground, he was caught after police matched the call details of the convicts' phone calls.
Govt should have framed guidelines: Court
In the 28-page judgment, the court has dedicated half of the pages to submit its observation and comments related to the case. "The government should have framed some guidelines to regulate the sale and purchase of acid to stop its misuse," said the judgment.
The judgment said that in the above case, it seems that girls were not safe even with their brothers like Ram Niwas, who defaced her for life. If such offenders were not punished, it would serve a wrong precedent in society and strict punishment should be given to set deterrence in such heinous crimes.