Uma Maheshwari case: Life term for accused confirmed

HC says the trial court had awarded a ‘very reasonable punishment’

Published - August 24, 2016 08:10 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Madras High Court on Tuesday confirmed the life imprisonment awarded by a trial court to three accused convicted of the murder of software engineer B. Uma Maheshwari in Siruseri in Februrary 2014.

“We do not find any reason to interfere with the sentence,” a Division Bench comprising Justices S. Nagamuthu and V. Bharathidasan said while holding that the Mahila Court, Chengalpattu, had imposed a very reasonable punishment having regard to the mitigating as well as the aggravating circumstances.

Rape charge dropped

On November 28, 2014, the trial court found Ram Mandal, Utam Mandal, and Ujjal Mandal, all migrant construction workers hailing from West Bengal, guilty of murder and robbery, based on the testimonies of 51 prosecution witnesses, 119 exhibits, and 61 material objects.

However, the three were acquitted of rape for want of sufficient evidence.

According to the prosecution, the decomposed body of a woman was found near the Siruseri SIPCOT complex on February 22, 2014. It was later identified as that of Uma Maheshwari, a TCS employee who went missing on the night of February 13, 2014.

CB-CID probe

The missing case was then altered to one with Sections 302, 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 341 (wrongful restraint), 392 (theft), 376(D) (gang rape) of the IPC, and the probe was transferred to CB-CID.

‘Immeasurable loss’

Noting that the loss is immeasurable for the parents of the deceased, the Bench said, “We are able to perceive their agonies… though the loss cannot be compensated; we feel that monetary compensation may, to some extent, wipe out their tears. We feel that this is a fit case where we have to order payment of compensation of Rs. 2 lakh under the Tamil Nadu Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.”

Before parting with the case, the Bench expressed its deep appreciation of K. Veeramani, the then Deputy Superintendent of Police, CB-CID, Kancheepuram, for his “excellent” investigation to bring the culprits to book in a record time.

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