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A Gruesome Murder Of A Young Girl For Mere Theft – In The High Court Of Judicature At Madras

A young girl was brutally murdered, and large amounts of expensive jewelry were stolen. It can be said that the murder was done for theft. The appellant has filed this appeal in Mahila Court, Coimbatore District, against the verdict dated May 29, 2015, in S.C. No.01 of 2015. S.C. No.1/15 and S.C. No.208/13 were combined to become S.C. No.1/15. The present appellant absconded when the case in S.C. No.208/13 was posted for questioning all the accused under Section 313 of the code of Criminal Procedure after examining the prosecution witnesses. The Judgement was pronounced by the Learned Judge R.HEMALATHA, J on 20.01.2022 in SAMIYAPPAN V. STATE REPRESENTATIVE.  

Facts of the case – In this case, the victim was a young female of roughly 17 years old. The accused 1 to 3 are friends, while accused 4 is the wife of accused No.1. Saleth (P.W.1) Saleth. Leema Roslyn and her husband were the deceased’s parents, and they lived in Coimbatore with their daughter (dead). P.W.1 worked at the Government Hospital in Tiruppur, while his wife (the deceased’s mother) worked as a teacher at the Government School in S.S. Kulam. There were two brothers in the deceased’s family. The older one worked at All India Radio in Chennai, and the younger one was a student at a Chennai Engineering College. As a result, both brothers remained in Chennai. When her parents were gone at work, the deceased was at home alone after finishing her XII standard. On a fateful day, i.e., 12.07.2011, P.W.1 and his wife left for work in the morning as usual around 7.30 a.m. leaving the victim girl at home. The prosecution argues that the three offenders A1 to A3, broke into the victim girl’s residence between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., knowing she was alone, and attempted to gang-rape her. They encountered resistance from the girl during their attempt to rape her, and while the present appellant seized hold of her hands and stopped her mouth, the accused 1 and 3 bound her hands behind her back with a rope.

The victim girl had injuries to her breasts, abdomen, neck, lips, and other body areas due to the molestation. Her body was covered with nail marks. With the cooperation of the other accused 1 and 3, the present appellant strangled her and repeatedly stabbed her in the neck region with a knife (M.O.29), resulting in numerous stab injuries and death. The accused 1 to 3 also took away one gold chain with cross weighing 16.800 gm (M.O.1), three pairs of studs with stones (M.O.2), Gold balls (M.O.3), a pair of ear stud (M.O.4), a pair of upper ear stud (M.O.5), one ear drop without screw (M.O.6), gold chain with a cross (M.O.7), a pair of ear studs (M.O.8), gold chain (M.O.9), one gold finger ring with flower and heart shape (M.O.10) from the steel almirah and her person and fled the scene with the loot.

When P.W.1 arrived home from work at 3.30 p.m., he discovered that the main door to his house was not locked from the inside or the outside.

He returned home to find his home in disarray. He dialed his daughter’s number, but she did not answer. When he entered the room, he noticed that the steel almirah had been left open and that all of the garments and other items were thrown around on the floor. His daughter was discovered in a pool of blood, her wrists and legs bound together by a rope. P.W.1 was startled and alerted the others. One Arulraj (not examined) arrived at his residence after hearing his screams and promptly dialed the police control center. B-9 Saravanampatty Police Station was then notified.

Mr.T. Muruganantham, the appellant’s skilled attorney, argued that the current appellant was wholly innocent and had no connection to the crime. His key argument was that no eye witness to the purported murder existed, and the prosecution’s whole case was built on the shaky basis that circumstantial evidence pointed the accusing finger at the current appellant. The Test Identification Parade was a formality because both eyewitnesses P.W.2 and P.W.5 had already seen the accused and found it simpler to identify him during the Identification Parade. The sequence of events did include missing connections, which proved detrimental to the prosecution’s case.

Mr.M.Babu Muthumeeran, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor, was emphatic in his assertion that there was no missing link in the chain of events and that the prosecution witnesses P.W.5, the victim’s neighbor, P.W.6, the house broker (who knew the first accused), and P.W.12 had all testified that they saw all three accused on July 12, 2011, in the vicinity of the victim’s house, and that there was no reason to doubt any of them. Furthermore, his view is that all of the jewelry stolen from the victim’s residence and those on the victim’s person were retrieved from all three accused. The learned counsel for the appellant has not explained this point.

P.W.5, the deceased’s next-door neighbor, testified that there was a vacant site between her house and the dead’s, and that she had seen the present appellant looking at the blank spot between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on 11.07.2011, and that on 12.07.2011 when she was returning home after visiting the house of another neighbor Sundar, she saw all three accused (including the present appellant) come out of the deceased’s house.

The pawn receipt and ledger retrieved from Sri Sakthi Finance and the testimony of P.W.13, Manager of Sri Sakthi Finance, clearly show that all three defendants, together with A4, promised eight gold pieces of jewelry which were later revealed to be stolen from the victim. Even though Aircell Nodal Officer (P.W.17) testified regarding the call details made and received on cell phone No. 8675409836, the prosecution did not present a certificate from a competent authority as required by Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act. As a result, his evidence has little credibility.

The trial court had taken into account the gravity of the offense and sentenced the accused adequately. Thus, the Learned Judge does not reason to interfere and agrees with the Judgement.

Click here to view the Judgement

Reviewed by Rangasree

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