New Delhi: Having stringent laws and enforcement agencies may not be sufficient unless deep-rooted gender bias is removed from the society to reduce acid attack incidents on hapless women, the Supreme Court has said.
In its judgement on Friday, a Bench of Justices Prafulla C. Pant and N.V. Ramana, in separate but concurring judgements, faulted the Calcutta High Court for acquitting the main accused. It reversed the findings and awarded life sentence to the accused Purnendu Kumar Patra and confirmed the acquittal of co-accused Rabin Jana. The victim was raped and thereafter acid was thrown at her and she succumbed to injuries in September 1998.
The trial court awarded death sentence to Patra and life term to Rabin Rana but the High Court acquitted both of them. The state of West Bengal and Suresh Chandra Jana, brother of the victim filed the present appeals.
In his judgement, Justice Ramana said usually vitriolage or acid attack has transformed itself as a gender-based violence. Acid attacks not only cause damage to the physical appearance of its victims but also cause immense psychological trauma thereby becoming a hurdle in their overall development.
“Although we have acknowledged the seriousness of the acid attack when we amended our laws in 2013, the number of acid attacks are on the rise,” the judge said.