The Madras High Court on Monday acquitted B. Chinnasamy, the prime accused in the sensational 2016 Udumalpet Shankar murder case, of all charges and set aside the death sentence awarded to him by a trial court in December 2017.
Mr. Chinnasamy, who belongs to a Thevar sect, had been accused of hiring contract killers to murder V. Shankar, an engineering student from a Scheduled Caste community, after the latter married his daughter C. Kowsalya.
Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and M. Nirmal Kumar ordered his release forthwith and the return of any amount paid by him as fine.
They also confirmed the acquittal of his wife, C. Annalakshmi, and her brother, P. Pandidurai.
The court also commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences that had been awarded to five of the accused.
It ordered that they should be made to undergo imprisonment for a minimum period of 25 years, without any remission whatsoever.