Chennai, July 11 (UNI) A 26-year-old girl, who fell a victim to acid attack at the age of 13 at the hands of her neighbour whose love she had spurned, heaved a sigh of relief when the Madras High Court today confirmed a lower court order, slapping ten-year rigorous imprisonment on him and directed the Tamil Nadu government to help the victim receive plastic surgery.
Mr Justice S K Krishnan passed the order when the girl Valentina, hailing from Villupuram, made a personal appearance before the judge during the last hearing and pleaded that no leniency be shown to her assaulter.
She had told the judge that she was 13 years-old and studying ninth standard when her neighbour Sekar, a 26-year-old youth disfigured here throwing acid on her face when she turned down his proposal.
Since then, she underwent all kinds of ordeals and agony, but did not give up her studies. ''I have completed my M.Sc, but could not find a job as people say I look ugly'', she said adding she could not mingle with others. Sekar was responsible for ruining her life, she submitted before the judge.
Moved by her plight, the judge, while confirming the ten year RI awarded by the Villupuram district additional sessions court, ordered that Sekar, who is now on bail, be arrested immediately.
Dismissing the appeal filed by the accused against the lower court order, the judge said the act of the accused, throwing acid on the face of an innocent girl, amounted to killing her mentally.
As he had planned and comitted the heinous crime, no mercy could be shown to him, the judge said.
Observing that the present government was people oriented, the judge said the government should take care of her future by providing her a suitable job and meet her medical expenses for plastic surgery on her face.
UNI XR/WS RL PM1958