Additional Public Prosecutor argued the case, based on the testimonies of 24 prosecution witnesses

The verdict in the Vinodhini acid attack case will be delivered on August 20. Sessions Judge N. Vaidyanathan on Monday reserved judgement for that day, after ascertaining that the defence had concluded its arguments.

The hearing in the case commenced on June 11, three months after the police filed an additional charge sheet for murder, following the death of Vinodhini on February 12 at a private hospital in Chennai. The case had begun with the examination of prime witnesses by the then Sessions Judge Margaret Roselin. After her transfer, Mr. Vaidyanathan presided over the rest of the trial.

Additional Public Prosecutor R.Vetriselvan argued his case based on the testimonies of 24 prosecution witnesses.

According to the prosecution, the accused Suresh Kumar (32) alias Appu, a spurned pursuer, hurled nitric acid on Vinodhini on the night of November 14, 2012, when she was walking to the bus stand in the company of her father Jayabalan and friend Padmanaban.

The girl, employed in a private firm in Chennai, had gone home for Deepavali on November 13, and was about to take the bus back to Chennai.

Jayabalan, Padhmanaban and the accused had suffered spill-off injuries. During the trial, the defence denied the presence of the accused at the scene of crime, and also contested the witness accounts of the father and friend on grounds that they were interested parties.

However, Public Prosecutor Vetriselvan cited the Supreme Court ruling in Thoti Manohar case (2012) to contend that when a crime took place in a remote area or at late night, and the eye-witnesses also suffered injuries that could be correlated with the crime, the testimony of interested witnesses was admissible.

During the course of the trial, the defence counsel included the Executive Engineer, Karaikal Municipality, and Member-Secretary, Karaikal Planning Committee, as witnesses as part of an effort to disprove the scene of crime.

They sought an approved layout of the area, but the location was on an unapproved layout.

After 15 sittings in a case involving the gruesome killing of 23-year old Vinodhini – a crime that rocked the public consciousness - the judgment to be delivered on August 20 will be a much-awaited one.

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