The Madras High Court has confirmed death sentence to a man accused of brutal murder of a love couple.
The prosecution case against Kattavellai @ Devakar was that he threatened the couple with an aruval and demanded that the jewels worn by the girl be entrusted to him. When they refused to part with the jewel, the accused cut both side of the neck of boy with aruval and brutally murdered him. When the girl attempted to flee away from the place of occurrence, the accused chased her, gagged her nose and mouth with a towel and made her to suffocate. Thereafter, the accused forcibly raped the girl, besides he cut her hands and legs brutally, which resulted in her death. After unleashing such an act of brutal crime on the hapless victims, the accused, robbed the gold chain, handbag and tiffin box and then fled away from the place occurrence. The Trial Court had convicted the accused and sentenced him to death.
The bench comprising Justice R. Subbiah and Justice B. Pugalendhi confirmed the conviction and death sentence awarded to the accused by the Trial Court. The judgment begins with a brief discussion about are mixed opinion about relevancy of death penalty among the citizens of this Country. The bench said:
"A majority of the citizen want the judicial system to deal the offenders of rape and murder with an iron hand, without showing any sympathy or mercy to them. They also want the Judiciary to take note of the plight and trauma that would have been undergone by the families of the victims silently. Contrarily, there are also voices that require the judicial system to soft pedal on the issue by resorting to reformative theory and to relieve the offender (s) from the gallows and to view the offence committed by the accused with a humanitarian approach."
The bench said it is 'shocked by the savagery of the offence unleashed by the accused on the young couple. The court also observed that the accused has no good antecedents and was involved in the cases of robbery. It said:
"In this case, as the attack on D2 were not on vital parts, she would have suffered excruciating pain which would be more rather that of the one suffered by D1. The brutality of the attack on the young and helpless girl, after forcibly raping her, would show the inhuman act of the accused. The accused had preyed the young girl (D-2) who unfortunately got trapped with the accused and taking advantage of the situation, the accused had caused the offence of rape on her. Thus, we are shocked by the savagery of the offence unleashed by the accused towards the deceased 1 and 2 in this case. Such conduct of the accused would only show that he is an extremist and that he will be a menace to the society. The incident that the accused attempted to commit suicide during a family dispute would further strengthen the same. Such a person will deserve no leniency or sympathy and he should be punished without any impunity."
The bench, while confirming the death sentence, said:
"For having committed such gruesome, inhuman, barbaric and heinous offence, the accused cannot be imposed with any other punishment, other than death sentence and therefore we are inclined to confirm the death sentence imposed by the trial court on the accused."
(The Judgment unfortunately mentions the deceased girl's name. So the copy uploaded here has been edited to hide the name to comply with the directions of Supreme Court in Nipun Saxena vs Union of India)