delhi high court

Delhi High Court: In a case wherein, an application was filed under Section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 to seek grant of regular bail in FIR for the offences punishable under Sections 326-A, 392, 397, 411, 120-B and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), Swarana Kanta Sharma, J.* considering the seriousness and gravity of the offence, refused to grant bail to the applicant-accused at the present stage and opined that , if the trial was not concluded within four months, fresh bail application could be filed before this Court and accordingly disposed of the application.


On 23-12-2014, an information of an acid attack was received, after which the police official concerned reached the spot and found a parked scooty with some chemical droplets on it. Meanwhile, another information was received wherein it was informed that an acid attack victim with some serious injuries on her eyes and face was admitted in a hospital. Thereafter, the victim was referred to AIIMS Hospital, Delhi for further treatment.

Accordingly, the investigating officer reached the hospital and recorded the victim’s statement, where she stated that two persons on a motorcycle had snatched her bag and one of them had thrown a chemical on her face which affected her right eye, face and right hand. Immediately after that, she felt the burning sensation and attackers fled from the spot with her bag.

Thus, on the basis of the victim’s statement, inspection of the spot and the Medico Legal case of the victim, the present FIR under Sections 394, 326-A and 34 of IPC was registered.

Analysis, Law, and Decision

The Court noted that as per the analysis of the CCTV footage by the prosecution, it was revealed that on the day of the incident, two accused persons had been chasing the victim from her home. The Court stated that the further analysis of Call Detail Records of a victim and co-accused revealed that on the night of the incident, the co-accused was near the victim’s house and it was also revealed that since 5-12-2014, he was in touch with the present applicant-accused.

The Court further noted that on interrogation of the applicant-accused, he stated that the co-accused had wanted to take revenge from the victim, and had asked the applicant-accused to throw acid on her face, to break her marriage so she will be forced to come back to him.

Thus, the Court observed that in the present case, the accused-applicant was aware of the consequences of throwing acid and had meticulously devised and rehearsed a plan to commit this heinous act, with the clear intention of devastating the victim’s future. The Court further opined that throwing acid on any person with a malice to disfigure and disable a person for life was a very serious offence.

The Court opined that a heinous crime of an acid attack in a broad daylight in a thickly populated area could evoke a strong emotion in the society and also inflict grave psychological trauma to the victim. In such cases, the Court’s role as guardian of justice needed to come into force. Even when dealing with the most abhorrent offences, the courts had to remain steadfast in its commitment to follow due process of law and upholding individual fundamental rights.

The Court took note of the fact that acid attack cases were one of the most grievous crimes in the contemporary society and were characterized by their sheer brutality and devastating consequences. These attacks often resulted in life-altering injuries, emotional pain and scars that never heal, like in the present case the victim suffered 41% disability in her right eye.

The Court further stated that acid attack cases send shockwaves through the community, therefore the court’s role in granting or denying bail was of vital significance. Thus, considering the seriousness and gravity of the offence, the Court denied the bail to the applicant-accused at the present stage.

However, the Court expressed its displeasure with the fact that the trial had been prolonged for nine years and noted that the trial had been proceeded for long. The Court further opined that the Court appreciated the agony of the accused’s long incarceration in jail, but it could not miss the sight of victim’s wait for the justice.

The Court stated that the Trial Court would ensure that this case was taken up as the top priority with day-to-day recording of evidence of the seven-remaining witnesses, and not grant adjournment to any party. The Court further stated the Deputy Commissioner of Police concerned would ensure that the witnesses appear before the Court on the day they were summoned. The Assistant Public Prosecutor concerned would remain present in the Trial Court to examine the witness, and in his absence, the Chief Prosecutor would make necessary arrangements for a substitute.

The Court further stated if the trial was not concluded with four months, the applicant-accused would be at liberty to file a fresh bail application before this Court.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the present application.

[Vaibhav Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 SCC OnLine Del 5452, decided on 4-9-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Appellant: Nipun Katyal and Surya Pratap Singh Rana, Advocates;

For the Respondent: Manoj Pant, APP for State with SI Ankur, PS Rajouri Garden.

*Judgment authored by- Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma

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