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Acid attack ‘horrifying’ form of violence, says court


New Delhi, June 1:

A court here has sentenced a man to life in prison for throwing acid on his beloved, leading to her death. The court termed acid attack one of the “most horrifying” forms of gender-based violence.

“One of the most horrifying forms of gender-based violence, a growing phenomenon in India, is acid attack. Though acid attack is a crime which can be committed against any man or woman, it has a specific gender dimension in India,” said Additional Sessions Judge Rajesh Kumar Goel.

acid attackAjay Bharti was convicted and sentenced to life in jail under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and ordered also to pay a fine of Rs.2,000 for throwing acid on his beloved.

The court said Bharti planned and then executed an act of “pure, calculated and deliberate evil”.

“He (Bharti) decided to wreck the victim’s life by throwing acid on her,” the court said, observing that the woman, who was married to someone else and had children, suffered around 40 percent burns.

According to the prosecution, Bharti and the woman were in a relationship, but Bharti suspected that she was also having relations with another man.

He took her to the Japanese Park in Rohini Jan 20, 2006 on the pretext of an outing and poured acid on her and ran away. After a week, the woman died at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital here.

The court said the acid was used with malicious intent to take revenge, disfigure and harm the person, and observed that most of the reported acid attacks have been committed on women.

The court said perpetrators of acid attacks intend to disfigure and cause extreme physical and mental suffering to victims.

Terming acid attacks as a “terrifying” experience, the court said acid melts human flesh and bones and causes excruciating pain and terror.

“The victims are left mutilated and scarred for the rest of their lives. Some suffer permanent disabilities such as blindness and some victims even die as a result of their injuries,” the court said, in its verdict delivered recently.

The court said acid attacks, especially on women, have seen an alarming growth in India.

“Acid attack or vitriolage is often referred to as a ‘crime of passion’ fuelled by jealousy and revenge,” it added.

Stating that such an incident was a violence against the society, the court said: “The intention of the perpetrator of such crime is to permanently brand someone and make them feel ashamed, knowing well that it may even cause the death of the victim.”