: The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday confirmed the conviction and life imprisonment imposed by a lower court on an individual for having murdered the wife of his neighbour after failing in his attempt to rape her at P&T Colony in Tuticorin district on May 23, 2011.

Dismissing a criminal appeal filed by Paul Jeya Pradheep alias Pradheep, a Division Bench of Justice A. Selvam and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan held that the trial court had rightly convicted the accused under various charges and there was no need to disturb the decision.

According to the prosecution, the convict had been in the habit of making sexual advances and misbehaving with the victim for long.

Unable to bear the nuisance, the victim and her husband had lodged a police complaint against him on January 10, 2011.

He trespassed into the victim’s house at about 9 p.m. on May 23, 2011 and attempted to rape her. When she resisted, he assaulted her with a knife.

On hearing her cries, another neighbour rushed to the spot and saw the assailant dart away.

Her husband saw his wife in a pool of blood.

She reportedly narrated the happenings to him before succumbing to the injuries at a local hospital.

After trial, a Fast Track Court ordered the convict to undergo imprisonment for life under Section 302 (murder), 10 years under Section 449 (house trespass) and seven years under Section 376 (rape) read with Section 511 (attempting to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

The appellant’s counsel claimed that the entire prosecution case was false as the complainant had reportedly told the trial court that their client was taken to his house on May 24, 2011 though the police claimed to have arrested him only on May 25, 2011.

They also contended that the First Information Report in the case could not be given any credence as it had been registered at about 11.45 p.m. on the day of occurrence but forwarded to the jurisdictional judicial magistrate only at about 6 a.m. on the next day.

Contentions rejected

Rejecting both the contentions, the Division Bench said that a mistake committed by the complainant in mentioning the right date on which the accused was brought to his home by the police for investigation could not be taken advantage of by the convict to escape from law.