Jail term of the other convicts reduced to six years
The Madras High Court bench here has set aside the life term awarded to six persons by a trial court in Dindigul in a 2007 murder case.
According to the appeals filed by P. Sekar, S. Ravi, S. Murugan, K. Saravanan, S. Pitchai and P. Latha, the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Dindigul, had found them guilty of murdering Nagalingam, a 21-year-old youth in a family dispute on April 19, 2007 at Sanarpatti.
According to the prosecution, Nagalingam and the petitioners had gathered at a temple on April 19, 2007 to resolve a dispute over his sister’s marriage.
An altercation ensued and Nagalingam was stabbed to death by the petitioners, the prosecution claimed.
According to the defence counsels, there was no motive for the murder. Though Nagalingam died at around 4 p.m. on April 19, 2007, the police recorded the statements of the witnesses only at around 5.30 a.m. on April 20, 2007, claimed the counsels.
Sekar, one of the convicts, was a juvenile at the time of the incident and was writing an entrance exam, contended senior counsel N. Natarajan, who appeared on behalf of Sekar.
Additional public prosecutor R. Ramachandran contended that the testimonies of the witnesses were consistent and that the trial court was right in sentencing the convicts to a life term.
In their order, a division bench comprising Justices S. Rajeswaran and T. Mathivanan noted that there was no evidence available on record to show that there was a common objective among the petitioners to murder Nagalingam. “The evidence available attracted offences under Section 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and not under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.
They referred the case of Sekar to the Juvenile Justice Board in Dindigul after ascertaining that he was a juvenile at the time of the murder. They reduced the jail term of the other convicts to six years.