Delhi District Court sentences two men to 11 years imprisonment in acid attack case


Sapna vs State of Bihar On 05.05.2017, the Karkardooma District Court sentenced two men to 11 years imprisonment and imposed a fine, of Rs 2 lakh each, on them for attacking a 20-year-old with acid near GTB Pant Hospital in Delhi. The survivor — Sapna — was returning from her place of work, a factory situated in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden when she was attacked by the two accused. The matter was first taken up by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in 2014 to ensure compensation to the victim, which was being denied by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) despite the Supreme Court’s decision in the matter of Laxmi v. Union of India of awarding a minimum mandatory compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs. HRLN’s intervention culminated into not only the victim being awarded compensation by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, but also the subsequent conviction of the accused by the Karkardooma District Court. The accused who threw the acid on Sapna was her sister-in-law’s brother and had proposed marriage to her on several occasions, but each marriage proposition was met with refusal. It was held by the court that this refusal by the victim is what fuelled both the motive and the intention to commit the crime. After the attack, the FIR was registered by the police and the matter was taken up by the state on behalf of the complainant. The court quashed all attempts by the defense at discrediting the prosecution’s case, and vehemently held that minor contradictions and omissions in a Sapna’s narrative of the crime can be attributed to the not just the physical but immense mental trauma that she has suffered as a result of the attack. The court further held that such discrepancies would not be fatal to the prosecution’s case as long as they did not pertain to the material aspects of the case. Upon being satisfied by the testimonies of all witnesses placed on record by the prosecution, the court sentenced both the accused to 11 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 2 lakhs.