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Callous prosecution leads to acquittal of 15 sentenced to life

Citing severe improbabilities and contradictions in the case of the prosecution, the Madras High Court acquitted 15 persons who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Dharmapuri for triple murder.

Callous prosecution leads to acquittal of 15 sentenced to life
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Madras High Court

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice Anita Sumanth said, “Though in this case three persons have been killed in a cruel manner, we are unable to convict any of the accused on account of inherent weakness, improbabilities and contradictions. Thus, we hold that the prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt and therefore all the accused are entitled for acquittal.” 

As per the prosecution, on January 24,1998, based on a complaint made by the first accused Madappan to the Pennagaram police against three persons, the police had summoned the trio to the station. But as they were heading to the police station on their bicycles, the accused who came in a car armed with sickles, revolver and country made guns attacked them. Similarly, another group of accused who had arrived from the opposite direction also attacked the trio resulting in one of them getting killed on the spot while two others died in the hospital. 

Pennagaram police registered three FIRs roping in 32 persons as accused. The Sessions Judge, Dharmapuri, on April 29, 2016, while abating charges against four persons, acquitted 13 others and sentenced the remaining 15 persons to life imprisonment. 

The bench, while finding a fault that the three FIRs registered failed to carry continuous serial numbers despite them being registered the same day, said “We find that though charges were altered thrice, the trial court had apparently not bestowed its attention while framing the charges.” 

Also, the bench on pointing out that none of the weapons, either revolver or country made guns was recovered from the accused, said there are lots of contradictions between the evidences and medical evidence submitted. “According to eye witnesses, the deceased were shot with firearms at the chest. But there were no entry wounds at the chest at all and that they were only from the back. This contradiction has not been explained by the prosecution,” the bench held and citing several other contradictions set the 15 accused free.

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