CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has chided the police and prosecution for shady probe and presentation of a child sexual abuse and murder case, and the trial court (Mahila Court) for convicting an innocent man.
The way in which the investigation report had been filed itself is an indication of the fixed mind of the prosecution to target only the present appellant as the accused. The investigating police officers have not chosen to examine any witness afresh when further investigation was ordered, a bench of Justices S Vimala and S Ramathilagam observed on September 12.
“The case in hand is a true replica of the Tamil feature film “Vazhaku Enn 18/9”. Though, the 21 witnesses and 18 documents, apart from the material objects, clearly established that one Kaattu Raja as the accused and not the appellant herein, the trial court had erroneously convicted the appellant, the bench bemoaned.
For a child, at times, the insecurity springs out of the conduct of those around her.
“But here is a case where the voice of the screaming child is silenced by fabrication of false documents, choosing the accused, making the accused as a witness and the witness as the accused,” the bench said.
“The judicial propriety requires a quality to read in between the lines what the prosecution relies, claims and to find some hidden agenda sneaked into the scheme by the prosecution,” the judges said.
“It is clear that the conviction of Iyappan is not based on legal evidence and the findings are perverse and the conviction and sentence are liable to be set-aside.
“In the result, this criminal appeal is allowed and the conviction and sentence imposed on him by the Sessions Judge, Mahila Court here on May 8 last are hereby set-aside, the bench said and ordered his immediate release. The bench also remitted the matter back to Mahila Court to hold the trial afresh against one Kaattu Raja, the real accused, in all probabilities.
The six-year-old daughter of one of the tenants of Kaattu Raja here was raped and murdered on February 6, 2008, night.
The police projected Iyappan, a witness in the case, as the accused and based on presentation of the prosecution, the Mahila Court awarded life sentence to him in May this year. Aggrieved, he preferred the present appeal, which was allowed by the High Court.