'Bigger crime than murder': SC throws out acquittal plea of acid attacker despite victim's forgiveness

Published July 11, 2019
Chief Justice Khosa says there cannot be any compromise in a case concerning an acid attack. — Photo by Asad Faruqi
Chief Justice Khosa says there cannot be any compromise in a case concerning an acid attack. — Photo by Asad Faruqi

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the plea for acquittal filed by an acid attack convict, saying he deserved no mercy despite the claim that his victim had forgiven him for the crime.

"Acid attack offenders do not deserve any clemency," Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa declared while hearing an application filed by convict Javed Iqbal, who approached the apex court with an appeal against the sentence he was awarded for throwing acid on a woman.

The lawyer for the petitioner informed the SC bench that the female victim of the acid attack had "forgiven" his client.

But Justice Khosa said that there could be no compromise in a case concerning an acid attack.

"The affected woman may well forgive [the convict], but the law cannot forgive an acid attack suspect," the top judge added.

He clarified that the law regarding acid attacks was "extremely strict", saying: "Burning someone with acid is a bigger crime than murder."

Justice Khosa said the petitioner had committed "extreme cruelty" by attacking the woman with acid.

He said the punishment for throwing acid was life imprisonment and that it was a "crime against the state".

"It is possible that the affected woman was threatened into going to the Supreme Court to give a statement [of forgiving the convict]," the chief justice observed.

"The law cannot forgive anyone who burns someone's face with acid," he concluded, rejecting the convict's plea for acquittal.

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