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Acid attacker sent behind bars for 10 years

Ishaq Tanoli

KARACHI: A sessions court sentenced on Thursday a man to 10 years in prison in an acid attack case.

The court found Sabir Masih alias Sajjan guilty of making an attempt on the life of his cousin Zarina, wife of Iftikhar Masih, by throwing acid on her in December 2010 within the remit of the Gulberg police station.

The attack left 35 per cent of her body surface burnt. However, a co-accused, Babar Masih, alias Sunny, a son of the main accused, was acquitted for want of evidence.

The court also directed the convict to pay Rs500,000 to the victim and in case of default he would undergo an additional one-year imprisonment.

The additional district and sessions judge (central), Rashida Siddiqui, who conducted the trial, pronounced the judgment after recording evidence of witnesses and final arguments from both sides.

The 37-year-old victim was also present in the courtroom when the judge read out the judgment.

The court ruled that the woman in her statement fully deposed against Sabir and he was also nominated in the FIR on the recommendation of the victim.

The testimonies of other witnesses, medical and documentary evidence corroborated the statement of the woman and the charge for which the accused had been tried stood proved, it added.

However, the court further observed that the case of the co-accused was on different footing as the victim had not nominated him in her statement recorded under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), besides the prosecution also failed to furnish any solid evidence to connect him with the alleged offence.

According to the prosecution, the victim, mother of four, was a resident of New Karachi and did cleaning work at a private hospital and on Dec 11, 2010 Sabir threw acid on his cousin.

The face, head, neck and trunk of the victim were severely brunt and she also lost both eyes while her arms and legs also sustained burn injuries.

Sabir lived with the victim and her family, but she pushed him out a few months ago before the incident and since then he had been harbouring a grudge against her, the prosecution said.

Later, the police also charge-sheeted the son of the main accused by stating that he accompanied his father at the time of the incident.

A case (FIR 585/10) was registered under Sections 324 (attempted murder), 336 (punishment for itlaf-i-salahiyyat-i-udw) (destroys or permanently impairs functioning power or capacity of an organ of body of another person or cause permanent disfigurement)) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Gulberg police station.

Sabir was produced before the court in custody and the judge extended the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the CrPC to the convict and sent him back to prison with a conviction warrant to serve out the remainder of the awarded sentence while the co-accused was on bail.