Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court frees 2 life convicts

Upset at the undue haste in which the investigation and the trial had been conducted in a case of alleged murder, the Madras High Court has freed two persons sentenced to life imprisonment.

“Criminal jurisprudence has been re-written by the trial judge,” said a Division Bench of Justices S. Rajeswaran and P.N. Prakash.

Sex worker

The case is related to the murder of a sex worker, on August 8, 2009, in the Annadanapatty police limits in Salem district. The accused were rag pickers and rickshawpullers.

In 10 days, the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. II, Salem, awarded life imprisonment to Paulraj, Kannadasan and Balamurugan. “Before they could realise what was happening around them, everything was over.

Will this happen to the rich and influential in this country,” the Bench asked.

Writing the judgment for the Bench, Mr.Justice Prakash said the accused had resigned themselves to fate and did not even choose to file an appeal. “Perhaps they had lost faith in the judicial system as such.”

The accused were lodged in prison two days after the murder and have been languishing in jail since then.

The case of the appellant, Paulraj, seemed to have been taken up by Philip Ravindran Jesudoss in pro bono and he filed the appeal. Kannadasan, one of the accused, died in prison.

Allowing the appeal, the Bench said it was not saying that investigation and trial should be conducted at snail’s pace.

This was a case which did not fit into any of the parameters of speedy trial for the reason that even the pillow and the clothes that were allegedly seized on the accused confession were not sent for forensic examination.

The Bench said the accused were represented by counsel who seemed to have not even protested the undue hurry.

Even the charges had not been properly framed. The Sessions Judge had mechanically replicated the charge enumerated by police in the charge sheet without application of mind because he was in a hurry to complete the trial.

The examination of the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C had been done in gross violation of fundamental principles of law.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 2:40:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Madras-High-Court-frees-2-life-convicts/article11138959.ece

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