CHENNAI: A Mahila court in Chengalpet here convicted 23-year-old techie S Dhasvanth to death in the rape and murder of seven-year-old Hasini. He had burnt the child's body after he committed the crime on February 6 last year.
Dhasvanth is also facing a separate case of killing his mother when he came out on bail and for escaping from police custody after nabbed in Mumbai.
The child's father was also in the court premises on Monday when in a jam packed court hall the judge pronounced Dhasvanth guilty of most of the charges pressed by the prosecution, including under POSCO Act Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act).
Super imposition was used to identify the body of Hasini. The court relied on the DNA tests of semen in the inner-wear match with Dhasvanth and also a witness who said he was the last person seen with the child before she went missing.
Special Judge P. Velumurgan of Mahila Court, Chengalpet, pronounced the death sentence and also awarded P. Daswant a jail term of 46 years on separate counts, ensuring he never walks out of prison alive.
"It is death by hanging," said the judge leading to cheers from people outside the court.
According to a The NewsMinute report, he has been found guilty under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abduction), 354-b (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), 302 (murder), and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the IPC and section 8 read with 7, 6, 5(m) of POCSO (punishment for aggravated sexual assault).
Reacting to the verdict, the girl's father said he was satisfied. "I wanted nothing less than death for the monster," he told the media.
"When I started pursuing the case, I was advised against it as courts take a long time. But I am happy it got over," he said.
Dhasvanth, who resided in an apartment complex along with Hasini's family in Mugalivakkam, had lured the child into his flat using a dog and suffocated her to death after raping her. He then put her body in a travel bag, bought petrol, and burnt her body on a highway.
Soon after, the police arrested Dhasvanth and slapped the Goondas Act against him.
Dhasvanth's father had applied for his bail in Mahila Court in Chengalpet. He also filed a habeas corpus petition with the Madras High Court.
Since there was a delay from the police’s end to file the chargesheet, the Madras High Court quashed his detention. Dhasvanth was then released on bail in September.
Dhasvanth was arrested and later detained under the Goondas Act in March. As there was a delay on the police’s side to file the chargesheet, the Madras High Court quashed his detention and he came out on bail in September.
Later, Mangadu Police here filed a 220-page chargesheet in the court with all the evidence related to the murder and the trial began. After release, Dhasvanth was residing along with his family at Kundrathur.
On December 2, he allegedly murdered his mother S Sarala when she was alone at home, stole her jewellery and escaped to Mumbai.
On December 6, a special team nabbed him from South Mumbai.
However, he managed to escape from police in Mumbai the very next day. With the help of Mumbai Police, Chennai Police nabbed him again on December 8 and brought him back to the city.
The police interrogated him in front of his father, when he allegedly admitted that he had also planned to murder his father.
Admits his guilt
On December 19, Dhasvanth submitted a petition to the sessions court judge at Chengalpattu seeking punishment in the child rape case, instead of a trial. However, judge Velumurugan warned him and assigned legal aid service to him, after which Daswant withdrew his petition.
(With inputs from IANS and online desk)