Annu Mukherjee,a 26-year-old dancer at a city hotel,was beautiful. And that,according to her co-dancer,Meena Khan alias Simran (33),was a crime warranting an acid attack.
Simran and her brother,Raju (28),have been sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by a Patiala House Court for throwing acid on Mukherjees face,an act that disfigured her for life and made her lose her vision. The accused had committed the crime because she was jealous of Mukherjees beauty.
Additional Sessions Judge S C Rajan also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the duo,with a directive that 80 per cent of the amount should be paid to the victim. The accused wanted to hurt her (Mukherjee) by doing such an act,due to which she could not look better and dance better than her… the judge noted.
Simran and Mukherjee were both dancers at Hotel Rajdoot near Nizamuddin Railway Station. Additional Public Prosecutor Indra Kumar had submitted before the court that Simran envied Mukherjee because she was beautiful,danced well and was largely favoured by the hotels patrons. In November 2004,around a month before the incident,Simran picked a quarrel with Mukherjee at the hotel and threatened to throw acid on her face. Subsequently,she hatched a conspiracy with her brother Raju to assault Mukherjee.
On December 19,2004,Mukherjee was heading to the hotel when Raju,who was waiting for her on the street,threw acid on her face and ran away. Though she was rushed to a hospital,the damage was already done. With her eyesight gone and face scarred for life,she lost her job at the hotel. Following that,Raju and Simran were arrested and a chargesheet was filed against them under Sections 307/326/120B (attempt to murder/causing grievous hurt/criminal conspiracy).
The court acquitted Simran in case relating to attempt to murder,noting that the intention of the accused was not to kill,but to disfigure her face so that she loses her job,they were punished only on the basis of the remaining two sections.