Udumalpet honour killing: SC says HC’s acquittal needs serious consideration

The Supreme Court on Monday said the Madras High Court’s decision to acquit a man sentenced to death for the daylight murder of his daughter’s Dalit husband in the sensational Udumalpet honour killing case in Tamil Nadu was a “matter requiring serious consideration”.

A Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul admitted a criminal appeal filed by the State government immediately.

The High Court acquitted B. Chinnasamy on June 22. The trial court had awarded him the death penalty. The High Court also modified the death penalty of the hit men Chinnasamy had hired to life sentence. The verdict sent shock waves across the State.

The crime dates back to March 2016. The hirelings waylaid the couple near a bus-stand and hacked them with sharp weapons. Kausalya, Chinnasamy’s daughter, survived. But V. Shankar, her husband of only a few months, died. She became the prime prosecution witness against her family in the case.

The State government, represented by Additional Advocate General Balaji Srinivasan and State counsel M. Yogesh Kanna, said the case came under the “rarest of rare category” and deserved the death penalty.

‘A slur on nation’

“It is time to stamp out these barbaric feudal acts which are a slur on the nation”, it submitted in the court.

Mr. Srinivasan and Mr. Kanna urged the court to decide the case expeditiously.

In its appeal, the State objected to the conclusion of the High Court that there was no evidence of a conspiracy for murder. “The case involves honour killing by the parents of the girl who loved and married Shankar, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste community by hatching a conspiracy and engaging hirelings to commit the gruesome murder”, it said.

Kausalya herself had complained about her parents threatening the couple saying “she cannot live with a person belonging to lower caste”, the State said.

She had deposed in court that they were “indirectly warned that any untoward incident may happen to her and to her husband”.

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