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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

‘Acid attacker doesn’t deserve clemency’: Supreme Court

The survivor, then 19 years old, was going to college when the duo threw acid at her in Shimla on July 12, 2004.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2019 08:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar delivered its order on Friday while deciding the Himachal Pradesh government’s appeal against the state high court verdict reducing the quantum of punishment from 10 to 5 years.
A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar delivered its order on Friday while deciding the Himachal Pradesh government’s appeal against the state high court verdict reducing the quantum of punishment from 10 to 5 years. (HT Photo)
         

Terming acid attack an “uncivilised” and “heartless” crime, the Supreme Court has ordered two convicts to pay Rs 1.5 lakh each to the survivor, saying they deserve no leniency.

The survivor, then 19 years old, was going to college when the duo threw acid at her in Shimla on July 12, 2004.

The incident was reported by a resident of a locality in Shimla after he noticed the survivor crying and later jumping into a nearby water tank. She was taken to a hospital where she was diagnosed with 16% burns.

A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar delivered its order on Friday while deciding the Himachal Pradesh government’s appeal against the state high court verdict reducing the quantum of punishment from 10 to 5 years. The trial court had sentenced the accused to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and ordered them to pay Rs 5,000 as fine. The trial court found the two guilty of attempt to murder.

However, the HC observed that the incident was of a case of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid and sentenced the two to five years in jail. The fine amount was increased to Rs 25,000 each. In its decision on the appeal, the court did not alter the punishment but enhanced the compensation amount observing that it would bring some “solace to the victim for the sufferings”.

“A crime of this nature does not deserve any kind of clemency. This court cannot be oblivious of the situation that the victim must have suffered an emotional distress which cannot be compensated either by sentencing the accused or by grant of any compensation,” the court noted.

“Indeed, it cannot be ruled out that in the present case the victim had suffered an uncivilised and heartless crime committed by the respondents and there is no room for leniency... ,” said the court.

First Published: Mar 18, 2019 23:59 IST

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