Leniency, mercy not accepted in acid attack cases: HC

Observing that imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the court responds to society’s cry for justice in acid attack cases, the High Court of Karnataka declined to reduce the sentence of life imprisonment imposed on a man convicted for throwing acid on a girl for refusing to marry him against wishes of her family members.

While upholding the life sentence imposed by a sessions court in Davangere in 2016 on Mahesha of Honnali taluk in Davangere district, the High Court directed payment of ₹9.75 lakh to the victim girl out of the 10 lakh fine imposed on the convict.

“Justice demands that the courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime,” observed a Division Bench comprising Justice B. Veerappa and Justice V. Srishananda while declining to reduce the sentence imposed by the trial court.

Also, the High Court directed the Davangere District Legal Services Authority to consider the young age of the victim, who was a teacher, corrosive injuries suffered by her and the huge amount spent for plastic surgery, while deciding the quantum of compensation for her under the victims’ compensation scheme.

“The accused might have felt that his ego had been hurt by such a denial to the proposal marriage or he might have suffered a sense of exaggeration... or might have been guided by the idea that revenge is the sweetest thing that one can be wedded to when there is no response to the unrequited love; but, whatever may be the situation, the criminal act, by no stretch of imagination, deserves any leniency or mercy,” the Bench observed.

“The case in hand is an example of an uncivilized and heartless crime committed by the accused. It is completely unacceptable that concept of leniency or mercy can be conceived of in such a crime...,” the Bench said while pointing out that trial court was right in imposing life imprisonment based on evidence and damage caused to the victim girl and a minor boy, who was accompanying her when acid attack took place in January 2014.

Noticing an increase of instances of accident attacks on women in India over the last decade, the Bench observed that “a crime of this nature does not deserve any kind of clemency. Emphatically one has to say that it is individually as well as collectively intolerable.”

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:40:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/leniency-mercy-not-accepted-in-acid-attack-cases-hc/article35551374.ece

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