A Delhi court has rejected a plea to cut down the jail term of a 21-year-old stalker who had threatened to throw acid on a woman if she did not marry him. Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said an acid attack threat is enough to “send shivers down a woman’s spine”.

Kuhar said that such cases, which are rising in society, do not require “a lenient view and misplaced sympathy”, NDTV reported.

The court heard the plea of Saddam who was petitioning to end his jail term after conviction. Though the court refused to his request, it reduced the jail term from two years to one year’s rigorous imprisonment. The sessions court justified reducing the term saying that he is a first-time offender.

“I am of the view that the benevolent provisions of Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 cannot be extended to the appellant in view of the evidence on record. Not only has he outraged the modesty of the complainant, due to his stalking, the complainant had to leave her school education as well and she is pursuing her studies privately,” the judge said.

He added that the threat of throwing acid on the face of the complainant by itself is sufficient to send shivers down the spine of women.

“It is not a single incident when the appellant had followed the victim. The evidence on record clearly indicates and establishes that he was following the complainant since long. It even affected the schooling of complainant,” the court said

“In the present societal conditions, where incidents of acid throw, eve-teasing and stalking of woman are increasing every day. We cannot give a lenient view and misplaced sympathy,” the judge observed.

Kuhar said that the convict’s action was liable to cause discomfort and embarrassment to any woman and outrage her modesty.

The incident had taken place in June 2016 when the complainant was walking to the market with her aunt in South-east Delhi. Saddam stopped the woman, held her hand and threatened to throw acid on her face if she did not marry him.

Following a complaint, the police arrested Saddam. On March 17, 2017, the court held him guilty of offences under sections 354D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and sentenced him to two years in jail.

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But Saddam challenged the verdict in the sessions court. He said that the magisterial court had overlooked the fact that the girl had falsely accused him on pretext of a family dispute.

The sessions court recently upheld the verdict, but reduced Saddam’s sentence.

“It is not a single incident when the appellant had followed the victim. The evidence on record clearly indicates and establishes that he was following the complainant since long. It even affected the schooling of complainant,” it said.

It also listened to the testimony of the girl, her aunt and other relatives. And they proved that the accused was stalking the girl for a long time.

Thus the court said that the accused is guilty of offences pronounced without “reasonable doubt”. And the punishment is “apt and accurate”.

Picture credit- Islamichelp.or.uk

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