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Acid attack accused let off as victim remains untraceable

Acid victim

New Delhi:  An acid attack accused has been acquitted as the victim remained untraceable with a Delhi court saying that the “sword” of the case could not be kept “hanging on the accused for eternity”.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dheeraj Mor, while granting the accused benefit of doubt, said that the prosecution has failed to discharge the onus placed upon it by not leading convincing and cogent evidence.

“The right of the accused for expeditious trial cannot be defeated/frustrated on unreasonable and unjust grounds. The sword of this case could not have been kept hanging on the accused for eternity, all the more, when the vital/material witnesses have remained untraceable, despite several sufficient attempts,” the magistrate said.

The court said that the alleged victim and complainant of the incident Satay Singh could not be traced despite several summons.

It said that the entire case of the prosecution was based upon the foundation laid down by the statement of Singh and in absence of his testimony, the case is “bound to crumble”.

The court refused to accept the testimony of one hearsay witness, saying he has failed to disclose the source of his information about the incident and his statements are vague.

“In the instant case, none of the relevant prosecution witnesses has uttered even a single word against the accused regarding his role in commission of the said offence. The identity of the accused in a criminal trial is of paramount importance,” the magistrate said.

According to the prosecution, accused Sunny, a Delhi resident, had on October 29, 2011 had allegedly thrown acid on Satay Singh at an MCD toilet.

Singh, in his statement at the hospital, had alleged that it might have been the handiwork of Sunny, as he had scolded him for harrassing his daughter.

An FIR was lodged under section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous means) of IPC against Sunny at Okhla Industrial Area (OIA) police station and thereafter, he was arrested.

However, during the proceedings, Sunny pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

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