2013 Preethi Rathi acid attack case: Convict says wanted to disfigure, not kill
Ankur Panwar, Preeti Rathi’s neighbour in Delhi, threw sulphuric acid on her in Mumbai on May 2, 2013. Rathi died of multiple organ failure at a month later.Updated: Mar 28, 2019 11:34 IST
The lawyer for the convict in the 2013 Preeti Rathi acid attack case told the Bombay HC on Wednesday that his client “did not intend to kill the victim, but only wanted to disfigure her”.
Counsel Tradip Pais, who is representing Ankur Panwar, said, thus, the section 302 (murder) of IPC under which Panwar was sentenced to death by a special court should be changed to section 304 (2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC.
Pais told a bench of justice BP Dharmadhikari and justice PD Naik that Rathi’s death was not directly because of the acid attack but owing to an infection in the lungs that she had contracted during her treatment for the attack. “Had the hospital, where she was being treated initially, found out about the hole in her trachea, the situation could have been different,” said Pais.
He said assuming that Panwar had committed the crime, the evidence showed that he had no intentions of killing her. “There were other ways that he could have adopted to kill Rathi. The fact that he threw the acid on her and then ran off shows there was no intention to kill her,” said Pais.
He referred to similar cases wherein the HC had held that knowledge of consequences, but without an intention to kill, did not attract punishment for murder but for culpable homicide. In light of these submissions, Pais prayed for the death sentence to be commuted to imprisonment commensurate with the punishment for an acid attack.
Panwar, Rathi’s neighbour in Delhi, threw sulphuric acid on her in Mumbai on May 2, 2013. Rathi died of multiple organ failure at a month later.
First Published: Mar 28, 2019 11:34 IST