Monday, February 27, 2017

SC scraps reduced term for acid attacker

Ten years after an acid attack accused was released from prison after spending 30 days behind bars, the Supreme Court sent him back to jail for serving eleven months for the crime. Describing it as “an example of uncivilised and heartless crime”, the bench led by Justice Dipak Misra set aside the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s judgment, which had let the convict — a spurned lover — out after 30 days in jail.

In 2006, the trial court had sentenced the accused to one year in jail under Section 326 of the IPC that provides for punishment in cases of grievous hurt.
Through an amendment in the law brought later, acid throwing has been added as a distinct offence under Section 326A of the IPC and it now entails a minimum punishment of 10 years. When the accused appealed against the conviction and the sentencing, the HC reduced it to the period already undergone, which was 30 days.
The victim challenged the order in the Supreme Court, which expressed “shock” at the HC judgment and called it an “unfathomable and incomprehensible sense of individual mercy” that absolutely ignored the plight of the victim.
“It is wholly impermissible,” said the bench and ordered that the accused must serve the remainder of the one-year jail term.

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