A man convicted for flinging acid on his college mate’s face has been set free by Mumbai high court after 8 years of imprisonment because he married the victim and also agreed to donate skin for her plastic surgery,TOI reported.
Back in 2010, the convict, Anil Patil, and the victim were in the same college and had known each other for a long before Anil proposed the girl. The girl turned him down and Anil like most other Indian men, couldn’t handle rejection with cool. One day in April 2010, when the victim was on her way to her lecture, Anil splashed acid on her face from a bottle. Two other girls who were then with the victim were the eyewitnesses.
After three years, in December 2013, a sessions court in Khed had convicted Patil for flinging acid on the woman—an offense under Section 326 of Indian Penal Code —and sentenced him to a life in prison. He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 25,000. Patil moved high court to challenge, what he called, “a totally disproportionate punishment” in the case. He did not challenge the conviction though.
On 27th June, after 8 years of the conviction, a bench of judges Bhushan Gavai and Sarang Kotwal set Anil free because he said that the two had settled the matter “amicably” and wanted to lead a “peaceful life”. The judges too felt that 8 years of imprisonment is more than enough for the crime. Anil agreed to pay for her plastic surgery and also donate skin for grafting.
“The incident appears to be an outcome of a love affair between the accused and the victim of the crime,” said the court. Also, the Honorable High Court found nothing guilty with the verdict. However, the High Court has instructed the police to confirm the marriage of the culprit and the victim. The prosecutor checked and ensured that both are married for a year now.
“Not only that. After marriage, the victim is required to take treatment from a plastic surgeon, for which the appellant has undertaken to donate his skin,” said the high court. “We find that the appellant and the victim have decided to lead a peaceful life…It is just and necessary that the appellant and the victim be permitted to lead a peaceful life,” said the high court, partly allowing Patil’s appeal. The high court maintained the order of conviction but reduced the sentence to a term already undergone.
Are you happy with the amendment in the penalty? We can simply not digest it. ‘Marriage’ isn’t a substitution to penalty. It’s a plea, an escape. Does anybody know if the girl has married with her due consent or under any pressure? The surgery might go off well but who will assure the girl a safe and secure future ahead? Does our judiciary want to say that it is okay to do just anything with your wife? Moreover, we are pretty sure we are not sending a strong message to other criminals out there and rather are teaching them a way to bypass penalties.