Man gets life term for killing girl by acid

New Delhi: A middle-aged man, who is a father of four, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for "cowardly" act of killing a girl by throwing acid on her after she spurned his sexual advances.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Tiwari imposed the stern sentence on Uttar Pradesh native Subhash Chander, noting that even if the acid attack victim had survived, she would have been akin to a corpse with extensive acid burns all over her body.

"Even the judicial conscience is saying it was good that the victim had expired because being a female, even if she had survived with about 62 per cent burn injuries on her body, she would have been reduced to a living corpse only," Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Tiwari said.

The court said that Subhash belonged to the village of the victim's mother and lived in her house in Sultanpuri in West Delhi. Although he was addressed as 'mama' (maternal uncle), he did a cowardly act of throwing acid on her and her minor sisters when they were sleeping, it said.

"The pre-mediation in procuring sulphuric acid in a jug and throwing the same at the dead of the night when the deceased and other victims, all being females and not even being in a position to defend themselves or escape to save themselves, was the most cowardly act done by the convict (Subhash)," the judge said.

Besides convicting Subhash for killing the girl, the court also held him guilty of injuring her siblings and trespassing into their room and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.

According to prosecution, the incident dates back to February 7, 2005, when the girl was sleeping in her room with her six siblings. Subhash had entered their room and thrown a jug of sulphuric acid on them.

Besides the girl, her two sisters, one of whom was mentally retarded, were sleeping on the same cot and had received injuries. The girl's father too had sustained injuries while trying to rescue the injured girls.

Police said Subhash used to physically assault the girl and was demanding sexual favours from her. A day before the incident, the victim had scolded Subhash for his objectionable behaviour. During the quarrel, he had warned her that he would ruin her life if she rejected his proposal.

The girl remained in the hospital and succumbed to her injuries on March 1, 2005.

The victim, in her dying declaration, had told the police that Subhash after throwing acid at around 3.30 AM had fled from the spot.

According to the prosecution, Subhash was already married and having four children but despite that he wanted sexual favours from the deceased failing which he committed the ghastly offence.