MUMBAI: The Bombay high court recently set free a man sentenced to life imprisonment in an eight-year-old acid attack case in a college romance gone awry after the convict said he had married the victim and intended to donate his skin for her plastic surgery.
The convict, Anil Patil, said the two had settled the matter ‘amicably’and wanted to lead a ‘peaceful life’. Patil said he would pay for her plastic surgery too. In December 2013, a sessions court in Khed had convicted Patil for flinging acid on the woman and sentenced him to a life in prison.
Patil moved HC to challenge, what he called, “a totally disproportionate punishment” in the case. He did not challenge the conviction though.
A bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Sarang Kotwal came to the convict’s aid on June 27, and said that a sentence of eight years he had undergone was ‘more than sufficient’ considering the facts of the case. “The incident appears to be an outcome of a love affair between the accused and the victim of the crime,” said the court.
Both knew each other for long and when Patil proposed, she rejected. Angered, he began threatening her and one day in 2010Patil flung acid on her face and shoulder. Her friends who witnessed the scene, testified later. Their corroboration led to a conviction.
The high court, too, found nothing wrong with the verdict of guilt. The HC asked police to confirm whether the attacker and victim were married to each other. They indeed were, the prosecutor said after checking.
The high court maintained the order of conviction but reduced the sentence to term already undergone.