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Madras HC commutes death sentence to life in honour killing

- June 8, 2022

Chennai, June 8 (BPNS)

The Madras High Court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence imposed by a trial court on one of the 13 convicts in the 2003 Kannagi- Murugesan honour killing case.

Justices A.A. Nakkiran and P.N. Prakash commuted the sentence awarded to D. Maruthupandian brother of Kannagi while answering a reference from the trial court.

The judges also allowed the appeals preferred by 2 of the 12 other convicts and acquitted them of all charges. The appeal of one more convict as partly allowed with respect to certain offenses.

The conviction and life sentence on nine other convicts including the victim Kannagi’s father, C. Duraiswami were confirmed and their appeals were dismissed.

It may be noted that Kannagi of Vanniyar community, a Most Backward Community in Tamil Nadu, had fallen in love with Murugesan, a Scheduled Caste boy when they were studying at Annamalai university and got married secretly and registered the marriage at Cuddalore on May 5, 2003.

Kannagi’s family turned violent on hearing about the marriage and prosecution said that poison was forced into the mouth of the couple at a  cremation ground after they were forcibly taken there. The incident occurred on July 8, 2003, and they were burnt at the crematorium to make it believe as a case of suicide.

The Central Bureau of Investigation took up the case on a complaint filed by Murugesan’s father after a botched-up investigation by the local police.

A Cuddalore special court convicted 13 accused and awarded capital punishment to Kannagi’s brother, Maruthupandian. The remaining were sentenced to life imprisonment.