Fourteen years after they threw acid on a shopkeeper and his employees,who objected to their bathing in the balcony and letting the water spill onto the floor below,two men were sentenced to 15 days imprisonment by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Shail Jain sentenced Old Delhi residents Sudhir Dass and Mathura Dass to simple imprisonment for 15 days after holding them guilty of voluntarily hurting the complainant,Sidharth Santra,and his employees by throwing acid on them.
The court order came on an appeal filed by Santra against the order of a magisterial court which had acquitted the accused in the 1998 case.
Sudhir and Mathura had been booked under IPC Section 324,which entails maximum punishment of three years for voluntarily causing hurt by means of acid in pursuance of common intention.
While setting aside the order of the trial court,the ASJ said,Considering the fact that the incident had occurred on August 8,1998 and after facing protracted trial of 14 years,both accused were acquitted and the fact that they were on bail during trial,I sentence both the convicts to undergo simple imprisonment for 15 days.
Santra,in his appeal,told the sessions court that Sudhir and Mathura used to run a small jewellery shop in Chandni Chowk.
Santra ran his business from the second floor of the building. Sudhir and Mathura lived on the third floor. Both the accused used to take bath in the balcony of the third floor and let the water fall on the complainant and his employees working on the second floor.
Despite their objections and repeated pleas,the accused and his employees continued their practice of bathing in the balcony while allowing the dirty water to fall,Santra told the court.
On August 8,1998,around 10.30 am,Sudhir was taking bath in the balcony.
When Santra requested him not to do so,Sudhir threatened to throw acid on him. Within minutes,Mathura Dass handed over a bottle of acid to Sudhir,who emptied its contents on Santra and his employees.
The matter was reported to the police. The magisterial court held that all the witnesses have supported the case of the complainant but still acquitted the accused saying the presence of acid and that the injuries to the complainant and his employees were caused by acid could not be proved.
The ASJ held that the trial court had erred in coming to the conclusion that neither the nature of injury nor the presence of acid has been proved by the prosecution.
As regards nature of injuries,it is clear that in the MLC of the injured persons (Santra and his five employees),it is specifically mentioned that the injuries were caused by acid and the injured were sent to the burn department, the court of ASJ Jain observed.
The court also relied upon the deposition of the injured persons and the doctor who treated them.
The ASJ held that since none of the injured persons were cross-examined by the defence about the cause of injury,it shows that there was no denial on the part of the accused that acid was thrown.
n Accused would take bath on third floor balcony in Chandni Chowk,dirty water often fell on Santra and his employees,on second floor
n On August 8,1998,Santra asked them to stop taking bath in balcony,accused threw acid on him and employees
n Magisterial court had acquitted accused
n Additional Sessions Judge Shail Jain said victims suffered burn injuries,convicted the two accused