TAMIL NADU

Prosecution proved charges in Balan case: judge

CHENNAI, APRIL 19. Convicting and sentencing 16 persons to life imprisonment in the M.K. Balan murder case, K. Asokan, judge of the Fast Track Court-I, today said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the former All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam MLA had disappeared when he went for a walk from his Mandaveli house.

In his 562-page verdict, the judge said there was witness and documentary evidence to prove that the victim was murdered and his body burnt on the Perambur cremation ground.

The case had to be decided taking into account witness evidence, documentary and circumstantial evidence available. The prosecution proved the case against 16 of the accused for various offences under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 109 (abetment), 387 (putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion), 302 (murder), 347 (wrongful confinement to extort property, or constrain to illegal act), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

The judge said there were rulings that in a murder case if suitable evidence was available and even if no post-mortem was conducted, the person found guilty of the crime could be sentenced as per Section 302 IPC.

The fine amounts imposed on the accused ranged from Rs.70,000 to Rs.1.20 lakhs on different counts.

In the case of the killing of Jayakumar, a student wing leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the judge, in his 460-page judgment, sentenced nine persons to life imprisonment. The accused were sentenced to various periods of rigorous imprisonment and fine amounts for IPC offences including wrongful confinement, kidnapping, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, and murder.

In both cases, the sentences would run concurrently.

While the Balan case was handled by M.S. Kandasamy, special public prosecutor, in the Jayakumar case, P. Jothimani, served as the additional public prosecutor.

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