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Murder of kids: Madras HC imposes life sentence on SL refugee

28 October 2016 10:29 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Shocked over the ghastly murder of a 12-year-old boy and his seven-year-old sister for resisting an attempt to rob their house and the inability of police to crack the case on their own, the Madras High Court Bench has confirmed the conviction and life sentence imposed on a Sri Lankan refugee solely on the basis of his extra-judicial confession to a Tahsildar.

However, a Division Bench of Justices S. Nagamuthu and M.V. Muralidaran set aside the conviction and life imprisonment imposed by a trial court on the co-convict on the ground that the confession made by the prime accused could not be used against his supposed accomplice in the absence of independent materials to prove his involvement in the crime.

The judges said the siblings, K. Ramprakash and K. Deepika, were taking care of their house at GRV Nagar in Pasupathipalayam in Karur district on May 17, 2007 after their father Karthikeyan, a Field Officer for Life Insurance Corporation, and mother K. Jeyanthi, a schoolteacher, left for work.

In the afternoon, their neighbours found the bodies of the children lying in a pool of blood inside the house and alerted their father, who, in turn, lodged a complaint with police. The investigators could not solve the case for three years despite having used the services of a sniffer dog and fingerprint experts, and receipt of post-mortem report.

On February 2, 2010, driven by conscience, the prime accused, Murali alias Thiyagarajan, an inmate of a Srilankan refugee camp at Rayanur, met the Karur Tahsildar and confessed to have murdered the children.

He said the crime was committed with the assistance of two others, Kumar alias Vijayakumar and Pandi alias Thangapandi. The trio, however, could not find any valuables, except for a silver coin, in the house. It was only after the voluntary confession, the police arrested all the three and recovered the silver coin from a pawn shop.

A Mahila Court in Karur convicted them for the double murder and sentenced them to life on June 12, 2015 though only Thiyagarajan and Thangapandi had preferred the present appeals on the ground that the extra-judicial confession was a weak piece of evidence and there was no probability of the confession having been made to a stranger.

The Division Bench said the Tahsildar could not be termed a stranger since he was a regular visitor to the camp and there was no need for corroboration when the confession inspired the confidence of the court.(The Hindu)

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