Srinagar: A day after finding him guilty of throwing acid on a woman last year here, a local court on Friday awarded 10-year rigorous imprisonment to the man, even as prosecution demanded lifer to him, saying such attack was a worst form of torture against the fairer sex and needed to be dealt firmly.
Announcing his verdict, the Principal Sessions Judge Srinagar, Muhammad Shafi Khan also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict—Riyaz Ahmad Nath, of Maisuma Colony, Chanapora here, under section 307 (attempt to murder). In case of default of payment of fine, Nath alias Sahba and Riyaz Battery will have to undergo a further imprisonment of six months.
While a convict can be awarded lifer under section 307 RPC, the court took lenient view against Nath, who had thrown acid on the woman, a schoolteacher, at Parraypora locality here on January 2, 2013.
“I am of the opinion that in view of the young age and illiteracy of the accused, ends of justice would meet if the accused is given a lesser punishment because of being a first offender,” the judge said.
The court also sentenced Nath to undergo a further imprisonment of one month under Section 341 RPC. “The period undergone already by the accused be set off from the period of sentence,” the court added.
While convicting Nath, the court had directed government to pay under ‘victim’ compensation scheme’ an amount of Rs three lakhs to the woman who had suffered severe burn injuries on her face and was shifted to New Delhi for specialized treatment after acid was flung on her.
While the expenses for treatment were borne by the state, the victim was also provided a government job.
Earlier in his arguments, Public Prosecutor Abdul Aziz Teeli said the offence of acid throwing was worst form of torture against the women and “it is much more than a death.”
He said the accused does not deserve any leniency while awarding punishment to him, and if lenient view is taken by sentencing him to a lesser punishment, he will not spare the victim and there is every danger to the life of the victim.
“The accused be given maximum punishment by sentencing him to life imprisonment, which will meet the ends of justice,” he said.
The Public Prosecutor also argued that inadequate sentence would undermine the public confidence and undue sympathy in imposing the inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice delivery system.
“In view of the Supreme Court observations made in various pronouncements, the courts are duty bound to award proper sentence having regard to the nature of the offence committed by the accused.”
On the other hand, the counsel representing the accused argued that the mitigating circumstances of the alleged occurrence need to be considered by the court while deciding the question of sentence to him.
He said his client was having “very intimate relations with the victim for a considerable period of time,” which should be kept in mind by the court while awarding punishment to him.
“He is a young man and a first offender,” advocate Mushtaq said, referring to Supreme Court judgment (reported 1982) wherein the apex court bench had reduced the sentence of the student, accused in the acid throwing case.