A special women’s court on Tuesday convicted 24-year-old Ankur Panwar on charges of throwing acid on and murdering Priti Rathi in 2013.
Judge Anju Shende convicted Panwar under Section 302 (punishment for murder) and 326 B (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In May 2013, Rathi moved to Mumbai after she secured a nursing job at the INHS Asvini Hospital in Colaba. However, Panwar who wanted to allegedly marry her was unhappy with her shifting to Mumbai.
The prosecution argued that Rathi declined to marry Panwar as she wanted to pursue her career in Mumbai. He then attacked her with acid.
The prosecution examined 37 witnesses, including five eye witnesses and 11 doctors to prove the same. Defence lawyer Apeksha Vora argued that Rathi died due to medical negligence and Panwar was falsely implicated in the case.
The court order read, “You are accused that on the foresaid time and date voluntarily threw acid with intention of causing burns and caused burns to Amarsingh Sedharam Rathi, 56 years, Sunita Vinodkumar Dahiya, 35 years, Sudeshakumari Dipendra Singh, 24 years and Sameer Shamsuddin Shaikh, 22 years and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 326-B of the Indian Penal Code. He committed murder by causing death of Kumari Priti Amarsingh Rathi, under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and throwing acid.”
Rathi’s family has sought the death penalty for the accused.
Panwar’s family said they want the case to be handled by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court will hear arguments on the quantum of his sentence on Wednesday.