CHENNAI: The Madras high court has upheld the life sentence awarded to a woman, who killed her 5-year-old twin sons by administering poison to them and allegedly attempted to commit suicide, following a quarrel between her and her paramour on March 28, 2003 in Dindigul district.
A division bench comprising M.Sathyanarayanan and B.Pugalendhi partly allowed an appeal filed by the accused Nagarathenim, challenging the conviction and sentence of life imprisonment awarded to her by the Additional District and Sessions Court, Dindigul district, dated January 10, 2015. The bench however set aside the one year sentence awarded to her by the trial court for an offence under section 309 IPC (attempt to commit suicide).
The prosecution case was that the accused was married to one Raju and they were having twin sons namely Ramar and Lakshmanan, aged about 5 years. The accused had developed illegal intimacy with one Suresh and on knowing the same, her husband condemned the same. On seeing the accused talking to one flower merchant, her paramour Suresh also got infuriated, came to the accused house on March 28, 2003 around 8 a.m. and scolded her for having contact with the flower merchant, quarreled with her and also beaten her. The appellant, who already lost the love and affection of her husband on account of her relationship with Suresh, got disappointed over the quarrel picked up by her paramour Suresh, decided to commit suicide long with her children and she gave pesticide to her children. Lakshmanan after consuming it, ran to the house of her sister and informed her daughter that his mother was giving some medicine to his brother. Her sister Unnamalaiammal and her daughter rushed to their house and prevented Nagarathenim from consuming pesticide and took the children to the hospital, where the doctor informed them that the children were dead. Thereafter, the appellant went to the office of the Village Administrative Officer and gave her extra judicial confession statement about the occurrence and based on the same the police registered a case and arrested her on the next day.
R.Alagumani, counsel for the appellant submitted that the entire case rests upon the circumstantial evidence and all the witnesses except the official witnesses, have turned hostile and the motive was not established and the extra judicial confession statement said to have been recorded by the VAO was a very weak piece of evidence, with which the appellant was convicted, she added.
The bench said from the available evidence, the circumstances were found as against the accused. They were the evidence of Lalitha, Child Welfare Officer, that the accused had taken children from Anganwadi centre on March 28, 2003 on the pretext, she was taking them to an outstation. evidence of the sister of the accused that her sister’s son Lakshmanan came to their house weeping and informed her that his mother was administering some medicine to his brother, the doctor who conducted the postmortem gave his opinion that the children died due to endosulphan poisoning, the investigating officer recovered a 250 ml Sicosulfan-35, a fertilizer content of Endosulphan from the cattle shed opposite to the accused house and also 3 stainless steel tumblers, the chemical analysis report disclosed the presence of poison Endosulphan and the evidence of Inspector of Police, Finger Print Division, that the finger print of the accused tallied with the finger print of the photo taken from the tumbler, the bench added.
Confirming the conviction and sentence of life imprisonment, the bench said it was open to the government to consider the case of the appellant in the light of G.O dated February 1, 2018 (for premature release) and also taking into account, the period of her incarceration (more than 16 years).