Man’s life sentence commuted to secure grandchildren’s future

Mohamed Imranullah S.

MADURAI: Keeping in mind the future of two children, the Madras High Court has ordered immediate release of a 68-year-old person, convicted for murdering his only son.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice S. Nagamuthu, commuted the life sentence imposed on the man to just one year, which he has already completed.

The order was passed considering the fact that he had to bring up his 10-year-old grandson and eight-year-old granddaughter as their mother committed suicide after their father’s death.

The judges said: “The burden of taking care of the children and educating them will be a daily reminder to the appellant of the tragic consequences of [acting in] a fit of anger. It is also a punishment of nature. Hence, we feel that this is a case where justice should be definitely tempered with mercy.”

During the proceedings, the judges summoned the convict and his grandchildren to ascertain their affection towards each other. They learnt the man was bearing the educational expenses of the children and had saved for their future needs in fixed deposits. This, despite the fact that he earned only Rs.1,200 a month as a watchman. He also owned a small mango orchard.As for the merits of the case, the Judges said the offence committed would fall only under Section 320(8) (causing grievous hurt endangering life) and not Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code as concluded by the trial court.

Demanded share

According to the prosecution, the deceased, Bhaskaran, went to his father’s house demanding his share in the property. It led to a scuffle in which a spear pierced through the left thigh of Bhaskaran.

“There is no premeditation or malice on the part of the appellant,” the judges concluded.

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