HC commutes youth’s life term to seven years rigorous imprisonment

M Dhamodharan, Legal Aid Counsel for the appellant submitted that the first three witnesses in the case were planted by the prosecution and they were not at the crime scene.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: A division bench of Madras High Court commuted the lifetime jail term to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for a Coimbatore youth who allegedly murdered his friend in 2018 after they consumed liquor and entered into a confrontation.

The bench comprising Justice PN Prakash and Justice RMT Teekaa Raman passed the order while partly allowing a criminal appeal petition filed by Mani, the convict. The appellant sought direction to set aside the order of the Additional Sessions Judge-I, Coimbatore order dated January 11, 2019, imposing life term conviction with Rs.1000 penalty for murdering one Vicky.

M Dhamodharan, Legal Aid Counsel for the appellant submitted that the first three witnesses in the case were planted by the prosecution and they were not at the crime scene. He further argued that the police failed to retrieve the CCTV footage to prove that the appellant had murdered his friend.

Recording the submissions, the judges held that they cannot confirm the conviction of the appellant under Section 302 IPC – punishment for murder.

“Both the appellant and the deceased were good friends. On a fateful day, both of them were drunk. Both of them were quarreling on a trivial issue. The appellant/accused had only punched the deceased and had dropped a stone on the leg of the deceased and not on any other vital organ. The death did not occur immediately and had occurred only while the deceased was under treatment in the hospital," the judges held.

With the above observation, the court come to the conclusion that s, the appellant could be convicted only under Section 304(ii) IPC –punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Subsequently, the bench commuted the life term imprisonment into seven years of rigorous jail term with Rs 1,000 penalty.

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