The children saw the father killing their mother

They were aged 11 and nine when their mother was murdered in 2009. The whole prosecution case centred around their testimony before the trial court.

Confirming the life sentence awarded to their father for the murder, the Madras High Court said it was accepting the children’s evidence before the lower court.

The prosecution case was that the murder took place on April 6, 2009 when the children, a boy and a girl, were sleeping in their house. Their father, M. George Arul Thangam, hit their mother, Pushpalatha’s head with a grinding stone. Pushpalatha succumbed to injuries.

On September 21, 2010, the Sessions Court, Kanyakumari, sentenced George Arul Thangam to life imprisonment.

Hence, the present appeal by Thangam before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

Upholding the conviction, a Division Bench comprising Justices S. Rajeswaran and T. Mathivanan, said the testimonies of prosecution witnesses seemed to be unassailable, and they were not tainted with any suspicion. On appreciation of the evidence, the Bench said the trial court had correctly found the accused guilty under section 302 (murder) IPC.

Regarding child witness, Justice T.Mathivanan, writing the judgment for the Bench, observed that the children had unambiguously spoken about the presence of their father at the time of the occurrence and also his culpability in killing their mother with the grinding stone. All that was required in considering the evidence of a child witness was scanning it carefully. If after doing so it was found that there were no flaws in the evidence of a child there was no impediment in accepting the evidence.

The Bench said that in the present case, it did a meticulous analysis of the evidence of the two children. Having scrutinised their evidence, it did not find flaws in it. The court said it was also of the considered view that they were not moulded or tutored prior to their examination.

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