Srinagar Acid Attack Case: Court awards life sentence to man, imposes Rs 40 lakh fine

SRINAGAR — A court here on Wednesday sentenced a man to life imprisonment in the February 2022 acid attack case and also imposed a fine of Rs 40 lakh on him, describing the offence as “brutal and inhuman”.

“The court awarded life imprisonment to the convict while terming the case a brutal and inhuman act. The accused Sajid Rather has been convicted under 326 A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) and section 34 (common intent) of IPC.

“The court has also imposed a fine or Rs 40 lakh. The fine can be recovered from his property. Fine imposed under section 421 (1) (b),” victim’s counsel Mir Naveed Gul said.

Under section 421 (1)(B) of Criminal Procedure Code, the Court issues a warrant to the district collector authorising him/her to realise the amount as arrears of land revenue from the movable or immovable property, or both, of the accused.

The girl was attacked in downtown Srinagar on February 1 by two people, including a juvenile, who wanted to “teach her a lesson and take revenge” on her for spurning Rather’s marriage proposal.

Gul, the panel lawyer for the victim as assigned by the Srinagar district legal services authority,, said “justice has prevailed”. “I hope this judgement would act as a deterrent”.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had filed a 1,000-page charge sheet in the case against three people – Sajid Altaf Rather and Mohammad Saleem Kumar alias Tota, and a juvenile against.

The police prayed that the juvenile be treated as an adult as per the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, whereby those in the age group of 16-18 can be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they are accused of heinous crimes.

The case against the juvenile is still going on before the juvenile justice board. And Kumar was convicted and sentenced to three months in jail.

According to the charge sheet, the juvenile helped the police to recover a black-coloured glass bottle that was used to throw the acid on the victim’s face.

Injury marks were noticed in the upper portion of the juvenile’s right hand, and he was taken to a hospital for examination where doctors opined that it was caused by a chemical substance, it said.

During the course of the investigation, it came to light that the victim had rejected a marriage proposal from the accused, causing resentment. The accused decided to “teach her a lesson” and “conspired to take revenge from the victim”, the charge sheet had said.

The Special Investigation Team had separately recorded the statements of Rather and the juvenile about the route taken by them which was corroborated by CCTV footage.

Mobile phone records as well as their locations were also annexed with the charge sheet to corroborate the conspiracy angle into the case.

Rather, who is the main accused in the case, had returned to the medical store where he was working as a salesman after committing the heinous crime.

The charge sheet was prepared in record time of three weeks by the specially constituted special investigation team (SIT) headed by Superintendent of Police (North) Raja Zuhaib Tanveer.

SDPO Mohammed Yasir Parray, SHOs Tasor Hamid and Owais Geelani and Sub-Inspector Shahista Mughal were members of the team. — (PTI)