On November 6, 2012, Jerrit John (45), the owner of No Nonsense, a production house, allegedly flung acid at his former girlfriend, city-based cyclist, Aryanka Hosbetkar. Prior to the attack, their relationship had been strained after Hosbetkar found out that John was married and had a five-year-old son.

Jerrit John was arrested for allegedly throwing acid on his former girlfriend. File pic
Jerrit John was arrested for allegedly throwing acid on his former girlfriend. File pic

John is currently under trial for several charges, including attempt to murder. On March 7, an assistant chemical analyser deposed at the Mumbai Sessions court in the case, and said that the bottle allegedly used by John in the attack was made of aluminium, which is normally not used for preserving acid.

During the course of his cross-examination by the public prosecutor, the analyser said that on November 12, 2012, he received a letter and a parcel from the Dadar police station. He started the analysis on December 6, 2012. The parcel contained an aluminium cylindrical bottle (allegedly used for throwing the acid), without a cap.

Its mouth was covered with a polythene bag and sealed with brown scotch tape. Since the bottle was empty, the analyser wetted a pH paper to determine if the bottle had contained any acidic substance. After testing it for all the radicals, the analyser found presence of chloride radicals.

On January 11, 2013, he received another letter and two parcels (from the Dadar police) which contained cycling pants and a full sleeved T-shirt. The analyser performed tests on the clothes and found the same substance, which had been discovered in the bottle in the earlier test. He also gave an opinion that the chloride radicals found may be from hydrochloric acid.

If hydrochloric acid comes in contact with the skin or eyes, it can cause permanent damages. If inhaled, it can cause corrosion and irritation to respiratory organs. During the course of his cross-examination by defence counsel Amin Solkar, the analyser said, “It is not correct to say that my opinion was made on the say of the police.

It is correct to say that hydrochloric acid reacts with aluminium. It is correct to say that, therefore, hydrochloric acid should be preserved in a glass bottle and not in an aluminium bottle.” Solkar argued, “All this says that the aluminium bottle did not have any acid in it.” The proceedings will resume on Monday.