The Additional Sessions Court on Tuesday pronounced life sentence on the accused in the heinous acid attack case that snuffed out the life of 23-year old Vinodhini.

[The acid attack took place in November last year and the victim died in February this year].

Thirty-three-year-old Suresh Kumar alias Appu was sentenced to life under Section 302 (murder) or under Section 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons). The accused would also undergo a concurrent sentence of two years rigorous imprisonment each under Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt).

In addition, the court slapped a fine of Rs.1 lakh, of which Rs.50,000 would be given as compensation to Vinodhini’s family.

The prosecution had fought the case under Section 302. However, the court had included Section 326 of the IPC, and the life sentence would have to be served under either of the sections.

Suresh hurled nitric acid on 23-year old Vinodhini here on the night of November 14. The girl, who was employed in a private firm in Chennai had come home for Deepavali, and was on her way to the bus stand, accompanied by her father Jayabalan and friend Padhmanaban at the time of the incident. Jaybalan and Padhmanaban had also suffered injuries along with the accused.

Having lost her vision in the attack, Vinodhini fought a 90-day vain battle at a private hospital in Chennai, until her system collapsed on February 12.

The verdict, delivered by N.Vaidyanathan, has come within two months of the commencement of the trial on June 10. The incident had galvanised public outrage calling for stringent punishment for stalking and restrictions on acid sale.

According to R.Vetriselvan, Additional Public Prosecutor, the prosecution had sought capital punishment. “For the prosecution, it was a rarest of rare case, but the court did not find it to be so.”

Speaking to The Hindu, Senior Superintendent of Police Anto Alphonse expressed satisfaction over the speedy verdict. Both the prosecution and the police have concurred to go on an appeal.

Even as demands were made for a fast track court, Public Prosecutor R.Vetriselvan along with the SSP Alphonse had personally pursued the demand for an early commencement of the trial.

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