A crime of this nature does not deserve any kind of clemency, said the Supreme Court while directing the two convicts to pay Rupees 1,50,000 each as compensation to acid attack victim.
Ishita was going to college when two boys came on a scooter and threw some acid over her from a jug and run away from the spot. A resident of the locality saw her crying with burn injuries and later jumping into the water tank nearby. She took her to hospital and subsequently case was registered against the accused.
The Trial Court convicted them for offence under Section 307/34 IPC and sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment of 10 years with a fine of Rs. 5,000 each. However, partly allowing the appeal, the High Court held that the offence under Section 307/34 IPC was not made out and converted the offence from Section 307/34 IPC to Section 326 IPC and sentenced them for a period of 5 years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 25,000 each. The State appealed against the High Court order.
Though the Apex court did not interfere with sentence and conviction recorded by the High Court, it said:
"Indeed, it cannot be ruled out that in the present case the victim had suffered an uncivilized and heartless crime committed by the respondents and there is no room for leniency which can be conceived. A crime of this nature does not deserve any kind of clemency. This Court cannot be oblivious of the situation that the victim must have suffered an emotional distress which cannot be compensated either by sentencing the accused or by grant of any compensation."
The bench then enhanced compensation observing that it may at least bring same solace to the victim for the sufferings which she had suffered. The bench also directed the State to pay the compensation as admissible under the Victim Compensation Scheme as in vogue to the acid victim. The court, referring to earlier judgments which had awarded compensation to such victims, ordered:
"Taking note of the precedents of which reference has been made, we consider it appropriate to observe that both the accused shall pay the additional compensation of Rs. 1,50,000 (Rupees One Lakh and Fifty Thousand) each and the State of Himachal Pradesh shall pay the compensation as admissible under the Victim Compensation Scheme as in vogue to the acid victim. If the accused does not pay the additional compensation amount of Rs. 1,50,000/- (Rupees One Lakh and Fifty Thousand) each within six months, the defaulting accused shall suffer rigorous imprisonment of six months. The State shall deposit the compensation before the trial Court within three months from today and the learned trial Court, after proper identification of the victim, disburse at the earliest."