12 Jun 2023 8:32 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has confirmed the death sentence handed down to an accused by the trial court for murdering his wife, sister-in-law and three children below the age of 10 years, suspecting the fidelity of his wife. A division bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice G Basavaraja said the case qualifies the test of rarest of rare cases requiring the award of the death penalty....
The Karnataka High Court has confirmed the death sentence handed down to an accused by the trial court for murdering his wife, sister-in-law and three children below the age of 10 years, suspecting the fidelity of his wife.
A division bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice G Basavaraja said the case qualifies the test of rarest of rare cases requiring the award of the death penalty.
“The atrocity of the crime resulting in five deaths including of 3 children below 10 years of age and the brutality with which the same has been committed, leaves us no option but to confirm the order of death sentence passed by the trial Court, which we do with a heavy heart,” it remarked.
Further the bench directed the Additional Registrar (Judicial) to forward the above file to the concerned District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) to determine and make necessary arrangements for payment of compensation in terms of Sections 357 and 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to the only surviving daughter.
The prosecution had alleged the accused had married the deceased Pakkeeramma 12 years prior to the date of incident. The Appellant is stated to have suspected the fidelity of his wife and doubted the paternity of three out of their four children.
As per FIR, the accused in February 2017 assaulted the deceased with a chopper and then came out of the house shouting with happiness.
The prosecution examined 36 witnesses based on which the trial court convicted the accused and sentenced him to death penalty. The accused challenged the order of conviction and the state government appealed for confirming the death sentence.
The court on going through the evidence of the witnesses and other circumstantial evidence said,
“The deaths being homicide, the Appellant having a motive to cause the said deaths, the Appellant having proclaimed that he has caused the deaths, the Appellant being seen immediately after the death in bloodied clothes carrying a chopper which was also bloodied, the said chopper having been surrendered to the police, witnesses having stated that there were several fights between himself and his wife, the Appellant having suspected the fidelity of his wife the Appellant having planned the entire event by sending his elder (surviving) daughter to the house of PW.15, would categorically establish that the actions of the Appellant were preplanned, motivated, predetermined and that he has committed the murder of 2 adults and 3 children.”
It added “A heinous act of murder of his wife, sister-in-law and three children all of whom were below 10 years of age having been committed would also indicate the depravity of the Appellant…we are of the considered opinion that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Appellant has caused the death of all the five deceased.”
Confirming the death penalty the court in order to find out mitigating circumstances, interacted with the accused, called for reports from various authorities and on going through them noted “The manner in which the offence has been committed by the Appellant is having attacked two women and three children in the house, hacked them and chopped them resulting in multiple injuries being caused to them and the Appellant coming out of the house and proclaiming that he has killed the prostitutes while holding chopper covered in blood. The same would shock the conscience of anybody and has indeed shocked our conscience, despite we having dealt with so many cases of offences relating to murder.”
Following which it observed “The above being the aggravating circumstances, when we look for mitigating circumstances, there are none of substance we can find, there is no family left for the Appellant except his daughter. He has in fact destroyed his entire family on the basis of the alleged suspicion and there is none available for the Appellant to reform himself for. Hence, looked at from any angle, despite our attempts to find some mitigating factors or other, we are unable to do so.”
Case Title: Byluru Thippaiah And State of Karnataka
Case No: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 100170 OF 2020 C/W CRIMINAL REFERRED CASE NO. 100002 OF 2020
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 216
Date of Order: 30TH DAY OF MAY, 2023
Appearance: Advocate S L Matti for Appellant.
Addl SPP V M Banakar for respondent.
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