Thursday, December 20, 2018

HC Commutes Death Sentence to Life in Triple Murder Case (Tamil Nadu)

02 APRIL 2016 Last Updated at 6:01 PM 

The Madras High Court has set aside the death sentence awarded to a youth, who murdered his aunt and her two children in 2012 after she exposed his bid to molest her, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Noting that the convict was hardly aged 20 at the time of the triple murder and had attempted suicide after the crime, the court said he was an adolescent offender and there were lot of chances for his reformation. The court, however, made it clear that Deepu shall not be considered for any remission for a period of 20 years from the date of trial court judgment -- December 16, 2014 -- as he had killed two "innocent, hapless and helpless children". A bench comprising justices M Jaichandren and S Nagamuthu passed the orders on the appeal filed by Deepu of Gudalur in Nilgiris district and the referred trial by the state for confirmation of death sentence awarded by a fast track mahila court in Udhagamandalm.

It held that the trial court had not taken into account several mitigating circumstances and instead gone by the aggravating circumstances, in particular the brutality of the crime in which three helpless and hapless victims were killed. According to prosecution, Deepu, who had discontinued studies after class X and remained idle in house for three-and-a-half years till he committed the murders, had made sexual advances toward his aunt, wife of his father's brother, in mid 2010. As she informed his father about it, he had developed an ill-feeling toward her. On January 10, 2012, he killed his aunt and her daughter and son using a knife in their house.

The high court referring to several Supreme Court judgements said there were a lot of mitigating circumstances in this case. "The conviction in this case is based on circumstantial evidence... At the time of occurrence, the accused was hardly aged 20 years and he was adolescent offender. He had no bad antecedents. After having committed the crime, killing three people out of depression, the accused himself had attempted to commit suicide. Now there is lot of chances for his reformation," the bench said in its order. "We are of the view that sentencing the appellant to undergo imprisonment for life for each murder would meet the ends of justice," the bench said, adding the sentences would run concurrently.

Source: (Accessed 20 December 2018)

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