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Madras High Court acquits couple in murder case 

August 17, 2022 09:15 pm | Updated 10:58 pm IST - MADURAI

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has acquitted a couple from Madurai district in a murder case. The trial court judgment that sentenced the couple to life imprisonment was set aside by the court.

The court was hearing a criminal appeal preferred by Selvaraj and Panju who challenged the judgment of the Principal District and Sessions Court in Madurai that sentenced them to life imprisonment for murder in 2019.

The case of the prosecution was that the couple and the deceased, Ilayaraja, who were from Usilampatti, belonged to a Scheduled Caste. Due to Ilayaraja’s addiction to liquor, his wife had left him and was living with her parents. Ilayaraja stayed with his mother.

Ilayaraja would get drunk and create a ruckus in front of the house of Selvaraj’s mother, it was alleged. Therefore, on December 3, 2013, Selvaraj hit Ilayaraja with a crowbar and Panju hurled a stone at him, causing injuries, which led to his death on December 9, 2013.

A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and R. Hemalatha took into account the fact that the pathologist in the cross-examination had stated that the contusions found on Ilayaraja’s body could have been sustained due to a fall too.

Further, the court took note of the fact that the doctor had stated that had medical treatment been given immediately to Ilayaraja, he would not have died. There was no medical evidence to show as to when Ilayaraja suffered the injuries noted in the post-mortem certificate.

The judges observed that the evidence of the witnesses did not inspire confidence for sustaining the conviction of the appellants. The judgment of the trial court was set aside and the couple were acquitted.

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