Chennai: The Madras high court has upheld the life sentence awarded to an accused who had accompanied his friend and mercilessly killed a 14-year-old schoolgirl while she was alone at home. The girl’s throat was slit with a knife after her elder sister, an engineer, had rejected the one-sided love of his friend Yugadityan in Salem in 2014.
A division bench comprising Justices S. Nagamuthu and N. Authinathan dismissed the appeal filed by P. Sasikumar challenging an order of the Sessions Judge in Salem, awarding life sentence to him and his friend Yugadityan who, however, has not preferred any appeal so far.
Pointing out several circumstantial evidences, including the evidence of the neighbours, the security officer and the recovery of a monkey cap, the bench said, “We hold that the appellant accompanied Yugadityan to the house of the deceased and both the accused had killed the deceased. Thus, the appellant is one of the perpetrators of the crime. Thus, the trial court was absolutely right in convicting the appellant”.
According to the prosecution, Yugadityan and the deceased's elder sister Sridevi (name changed) were studying in a private engineering college in Salem. Yugadityan proposed his love to her, but she rejected it. Aggrieved, he started stalking her, but at the intervention of the college authorities, he agreed not to interfere with her affairs.
After completing college, she had joined in a company as an engineer in Chennai. In 2014, prior to Deepavali, Yugadityan came to Chennai, intercepted her and threatened her that he would kill all her family members, if she did not reciprocate the love.
On November 13, 2014, when Sridevi's younger sister was alone at home, situated on the first floor of the building in Salem, after returning from school, Yugadityan along with Sasikumar trespassed into the house, slit the throat of the girl twice with a knife. They rushed out of the house and escaped by their motorbike.
Confirming the life sentence and declining to reject the evidences of the neighbours, the bench said prosecution witness-5, who was the neighbour, has got no nexus or grudge against the accused. It was not as though he had seen these two accused only for a fraction of a second. He had seen these two accused going to the house, knocking at the door, entering into the house, sitting on the sofa and talking to the deceased for quite some time.
The neighbour had enough time to observe the physical features and identity of the accused. It was only on account of the same, he was able to identify the accused in court. "In our considered view, the identification of the appellant by this witness before the court could be relied upon. Thus, from the evidence of this witness, the fact that Sasikumar was in the house of the deceased at or about the time of occurrence, that too with monkey cap, has been clearly established", the bench added.