Home South Asia Pakistan No mercy: Acid attack bigger crime than murder, CJP Khosa

No mercy: Acid attack bigger crime than murder, CJP Khosa

In a historic decision, CJP Asif Saeed Khosa rejected the acquittal plea of the acid attacker, Javed Iqbal, who was “pardoned” by the victim. The top judge of Pakistan maintained that petitioner’s heinous act was a bigger crime than murder. He also said that the acid attack is a crime against the state.

Khosa

News Desk |

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa while dismissing an acquittal plea of a man convicted on charges of throwing acid on a woman remarked that “burning someone with acid is a bigger crime than murder.”

In a historic decision, CJP Asif Saeed Khosa rejected the acquittal plea of the acid attacker, Javed Iqbal, who was “pardoned” by the victim. The top judge of Pakistan maintained that petitioner’s heinous act was a bigger crime than murder.

The apex court’s three-member bench led by CJP announced the decision while hearing Iqbal’s appeal against the sentence handed down for throwing acid on a woman.

Iqbal, who is a resident of Chiniot, Punjab, was sentenced to life imprisonment for throwing acid on his neighbor.

When the case was taken up, Iqbal’s counsel informed the court that the woman – the victim – has forgiven his client and, therefore, he should be exonerated. Hearing the request, CJP Khosa remarked that there could be no compromise in a case involving an acid attack.

Justice Khosa also remarked that the woman could have been coerced into “forgiving” the offender. “No matter if the victim has pardoned the convict, there can be no compromise in such cases and the law cannot forgive an acid attacker,” he observed. “Acid attackers don’t deserve any mercy.”

Acid Attack is Crime against State: CJP Khosa

During the hearing, CJP Khosa ruled that attacking someone with acid was a “crime against the state”, adding that “the law dealing with such cases is very strict and burning someone with acid is an act of extreme cruelty.”

Iqbal, who is a resident of Chiniot, Punjab, was sentenced to life imprisonment for throwing acid on his neighbor.

Read more: Acid attacks continue to destroy lives

Acid violence – the worst form of gender-based violence in Pakistan – usually takes place because of family disputes, refusal of a marriage proposal and family ‘honor’ issues. In most cases, the attackers intend to disfigure rather than kill their victims, which leaves the victims with permanent bodily disfigurement. They undergo severe emotional and psychological trauma.

To add insult to injury, unsupportive family dynamics, hefty legal fees, lengthy trials, the stigma of reporting crime and fear of potential repercussions from the attackers are some other factors that keep the victims away from courts and, thus, many such cases go unreported.

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