New Delhi: Noting that three of the accused
in an acid attack case were women, the Supreme Court today
observed that the fair sex was not only empowering itself in
the positive direction, but also towards criminal activities.
"It only shows that in this country women are not only
getting empowered in the positive direction, but also for
committing crimes," a vacation bench of Justices G S Singhvi
and C K Prasad noted.
The apex court said differences between neighbours should
not degenerate to such an extent that they should resort to
acid attacks on rivals.
"If you have differences with your neighbour you cannot go
to the extent of attacking them with acid. The entire family
seemed to be carrying a pot-full of acid to attack the
neighbours," the apex court told counsel R K Kapoor appearing
for the accused.
The apex court rejected the argument of the counsel that
the attack was in self defence as it was the five victims who
had come to attack the accused as per the findings recorded by
the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
"Are you in the process of manufacturing acid in the house
that you found it readily available to attack the victims,"
the bench asked the counsel.
Fifteen persons including three women - Sinder Kaur, Piar
Kaur and Mukhtiar Kaur - were convicted and sentenced to three
years imprisonment by the Ludhiana sessions court for
attacking a family of five members in the neighbourhood over a
property dispute on July 31, 2000. One person, Jagdev Singh,
lost his eyes in the attack while others escaped with burns.
The High Court had on January 2, however, reduced the
sentence to one year in the case of the women and two years
for men, but enhanced the punishment to four years for the
main accused Charan Singh.
The accused the appealed before the apex court challenging
the conviction and sought bail.
The apex court, while making the observation, directed all
the accused to surrender and said it will consider the bail
application on May 28, except that of Charan Singh.