The Bombay High Court recently cut short the life sentence awarded to a man convicted for throwing acid on his former girlfriend after it was informed that they had “amicably settled” the matter, with them having married each other.
The order was issued by a Bench comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Sarang V. Kotwal, while hearing an Appeal filed by one Anil Shivaji Patil, who had challenged the sentence imposed on him for his conviction by the Additional Sessions Judge in December 2013. He was awarded rigorous imprisonment for life for committing an offence under Section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC.
Patil had been in a relationship with the victim, but the latter refused to marry him, and in retaliation, Patil threw acid on her face and shoulders. He had now asserted that the sentence awarded to him was disproportionate to the offence, in view of the facts of the case.
The Court agreed with the assertion, noting that during the pendency of the Appeal, the matter had been amicably settled between the parties. It further noted that the duo had married each other and that the appellant had agreed to donate his skin for her treatment.
Thereafter, opining that the case did not warrant awarding of the maximum sentence and that the duo should be allowed to lead a “peaceful life”, the Court observed, “The Appellant has already undergone the sentence of more than 8 years. We find that the said sentence is more than sufficient taking into consideration the nature of the factual background.
We find that the Appellant and the victim have decided to lead a peaceful life and have also decided to get treatment of the victim done from a plastic surgeon for which the Appellant has undertaken to donate his skin. It is just and necessary that the Appellant and the victim be permitted to lead a peaceful life.”
The Court, therefore, allowed the Appeal, reducing the sentence to the period already undergone by the appellant.