New Delhi, Jan 10: A youth, who was a victim of acid attack by his cousin, has been awarded Rs 12 lakh compensation by a Delhi court which said it was ironical that while the perpetrator walks free under the cover of rights, the survivor suffers trauma and ostracisation throughout his life.
The court also termed it unfortunate that acid was easily available and it was being rampantly used.
"What makes the matter worse is total lack of legal guarantee to free medical care, rehabilitation and adequate compensation scheme for the survivors," Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court directed Sarai Rohilla resident Vipin Jain to pay Rs 12 lakh as damages to his cousin Yogesh Jain, on whom he had thrown acid in January 2005 when he was going to market with his friend.
The suit said Vipin had called Yogesh from behind and when he turned back, threw acid on him which severely damaged his face, right eye and other parts of the body. Vipin was convicted by a trial court and given five years jail. He has filed an appeal against his sentence.
The suit said that the two families were into a property dispute and there was also professional rivalry as they were into similar pharmaceutical business. The court noted that plaintiff has already spent Rs 5 lakh and further Rs 20 lakh is to be paid on skin grafting and plastic surgery and has to undergo around 10 more surgeries.
"When I saw Yogesh in the court, I did not need any other proof of the horrendous incident of acid attack or his sufferings as evident from his photographs," the judge said.
The court referred to the reports of National Crime Bureau Records (NCBR) saying 75-80 per cent of the acid attack victims are women.
"Sadly our country and in particular our state Delhi have always been the centre point for these attacks as ascertained on the basis of the reports gathered by the NCBR from 2010 onwards," it said.
"Ironical it is that under the cover of rights while the perpetrator walks free most of the time and lead a normal life, the faceless victims/survivors suffer trauma, loneliness and ostracisation throughout their life, everyday and every minute," it said.
Regarding the amendment in IPC which has inserted Section 326 A as punishment for throwing acid, the court said it has been made gender neutral and even a male victim of the attack is covered in it.
"In our country, despite there being a pressing need, there is no special law of the nature of Criminal Injuries Compensation Act provided for interim/ final monetary aid to the victims of crime but the apex court and the various high courts have time and again risen to the occasion and taken a lead while liberally providing such compensations for purposes of treatment and rehabilitation," it said, noting that the court which convicted Vipin has not awarded any compensation to the victim.