CHENNAI: A special court for the trial of bomb-blast cases has handed four death penalties and two life terms to a couple convicted of murdering three of their family members by burning them alive. P Velmurugan, judge of the Special Court for Exclusive Trial of Bomb Blast Cases in Poonnamallee, on Tuesday, delivered the judgment in the 2019 murder case registered at the Tindivanam police station in Villupuram.
33-year old Govardhanan and his wife Deepa Gayathri were punished with death penalty under section 120 (B) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and three death penalties for three counts of charges of murder under 302 of IPC. Apart from the four death penalties, the couple was also handed double life imprisonment under the counts of charges of mischief by fire or explosive substance 436 of IPC and 3 (a) of Explosive Substances Act, special public prosecutor N Vijayaraj.
Govardhanan, a resident of Subbarayan Street, Tindivanam, had conspired with his wife Deepa Gayathri to get rid of his father Raju, mother Kalaiselvi, and brother Gowthaman. On 14 May, 2019, they poured petrol on the three and set them on fire while they were asleep.
Later, the couple enacted a drama as if the three died of fire caught from an air conditioner, Vijayaraj said.
A postmortem examination, however, revealed Raju had cut injuries and his death was not due to fire. Police grew suspicious and grilled Govardhanan who confessed to have perpetrated the murder after his parents refused him money for starting a business.
Following the verdict, Govardhanan was imprisoned at the sub jail in Poonnamallee, while his wife was taken to the special prison for women at Puzhal near Chennai. Their 18-month-old daughter was taken by her maternal grandfather. The child was inconsolable while her mother was parting, according to sources.