Tamil Nadu

7 sentenced to death for neurosurgeon’s murder

S.D. Subbia  

Nearly eight years after the sensational daylight murder of neurosurgeon S.D. Subbiah in Chennai, which was captured on CCTV camera, a sessions court on Wednesday awarded the capital punishment to seven of the 9 accused in the case. The two others were sentenced to life imprisonment on two counts.

Dr. Subbiah, 58, was repeatedly stabbed with deadly weapons by a hired gang when he came out of the hospital where he worked at Raja Annamalai Puram on September 14, 2013. He sustained serious cut injuries in 20 places and was rushed to hospital. He later succumbed to his grievous injuries. The investigation revealed that he was murdered over a land dispute between him and his relative, P. Ponnusamy, 55, at Anju Gramam in Kanniyakumari district.

Ponnusamy, his wife Mary Pushpam, their sons Basil, 26, an advocate, and Boris, 24, an engineer, and associates William, 31, an advocate, and Yesurajan, 26, a kabaddi player — all hailing from Kanniyakumari — and Dr. James Sathiskumar, 37, Murugan, 25, Selvaprakash, 23, and Ayyappan, 24, from Tirunelveli district, were arraigned as accused in the case.

According to the prosecution, Ponnusamy promised to give half of the sale proceeds of the disputed property to the assailants — Selvaprakash and Murugan — if they eliminated Subbiah. The three were working with a medical practitioner in Kanniyakumari, who was an acquaintance of Basil.

The prosecution said Basil and Boris, a cargo staff with an international airline, conspired with the others and ordered the murder following a long-standing dispute over a 2.4 acre plot at Anju Grammam owned by Dr. Subbiah. Ayyappan, who was identified as a “facilitator” in the case, later turned approver, following which the remaining 9 were tried in the first additional sessions court. “As many as 57 witnesses were examined during the trial, and 173 pieces of documentary evidence and 42 material objects were produced before the court,” Special Public Prosecutor N. Vijayaraj said.

On completion of the trial, I additional session judge S. Alli pronounced the judgment holding that the prosecution proved the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The judge awarded the death penalty on two counts to Ponnusamy, Basil, Boris, William, James Sathiskumar, Murugan and Selvaprakash for offences under Sections 302 (Punishment for murder) and 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) of the IPC. He ordered that they be hanged, subject to confirmation of the sentence by the Madras High Court. The judge sentenced Mary Pushpam and Yesurajan to life imprisonment on two counts and imposed a fine of ₹50,000 each.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 5:23:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/7-sentenced-to-death-for-neurosurgeons-murder/article35734257.ece

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