Mumbai Local

Acid case: Court holds Preeti Rathi’s attacker guilty

Three years after Preeti Rathi, a nurse, died of medical complications after a man threw acid on her at Bandra station, a special women’s court on Tuesday held Ankur Panwar, 24, guilty saying he threw acid with the intention of causing burns and committing murder.

The defence however argued that Preeti died due to medical negligence and Panwar had not thrown acid at her.

Preeti had secured a nursing job at the INHS Asvini Hospital and had just reached Mumbai from New Delhi when acid was thrown at her. She died due to burns and injuries a month later.

Special Judge Anju Shende at the City Civil and Sessions Court convicted Panwar, a chef with a premium hotel, under Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 326 B (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the Indian Penal Code.

Panwar, currently lodged at the Arthur Road Jail, lived near Preeti’s neighbourhood in Narela, Delhi. He has been convicted for throwing acid on Preeti and her family members as she apparently refused his proposal to marry him.

Defence lawyer Apeksha Vora said Preeti died due to medical negligence. She said her client had been falsely implicated because he was arrested seven months after the incident took place.

However, the prosecution contended that Panwar was guilty as Preeti had declined his proposal for marriage.

The trial lasted for one-and-a-half years during which time the prosecution examined 37 witnesses, including five eyewitnesses and 11 doctors.

After the charges were read out on Tuesday, Panwar, who will soon be shifted to Kolhapur Central Prison, said, “I do not plead guilty to the charges.”

Preeti’s family has sought death penalty for the accused even as Panwar’s family said they want the case to be shifted to Central Bureau of Investigation. The court will hear arguments on the quantum of his sentence on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 8:48:47 AM |

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