The Delhi High Court has doubled to 10 years the jail term of two convicts for throwing acid on a 25-year-old woman, who lost her vision and had a disfigured face, saying the “brutal inhuman attack on a beautiful woman” and the mere sight of her injuries were “traumatising”.
“The very sight of the victim (who was present in the court at the time of hearing) is traumatising. If the court could be traumatised by the mere sight of injuries caused to the victim by the inhuman attack on her, what would be the situation of the victim, perhaps, cannot be judged,” Justice Sunita Gupta said, adding the court cannot be “oblivious” of the fact of her trauma.
The verdict came on the appeal of the woman, who was a dancer at a hotel in south Delhi and was attacked in 2004 with sulphuric acid by another woman (also a dancer) and her brother out of jealousy, seeking enhancement of the five-year jail term awarded to them by a trial court.
The high court also dismissed the appeals of the duo against their conviction and five-year sentence awarded by the trial court in 2011, saying the jail term was on a lower side.
“Keeping in totality of facts and circumstances, sentence of five years awarded to appellants (convicts), in my view, is on a very lower side, hence the same is enhanced to 10 years,” the judge said and also directed Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DLSA) to appropriately compensate the victim under victim’s compensation scheme.
The high court observed, “Present is a glaring example of another brutal inhuman attack with acid on a young girl of hardly 25 years of age, who worked as a dancer…, out of jealousy.”
According to the prosecution, the victim was working as a bar dancer in the hotel here and her colleague Simran, who was envious of her, had threatened to get acid thrown at her.
On December 19, 2004, the victim left her house and boarded an autorickshaw to attend work when Simran’s brother Raju, who was already standing near the auto covering himself with a shawl, splashed acid on her face. She received severe burn injuries on her face and lost her eyes.