HYDERABAD: Police constable Jella Prakasham of Sangareddy district and Home Guard Botla Mallikarjuna of Hyderabad City Police, who were involved in two separate grave cases of assaults against women, had tried their best to mislead the police and prove their innocence before the courts, but the police made airtight cases against them with strong evidence, which led to their conviction recently.
Prakasham was convicted of killing a woman constable, who was his acquaintance, and sentenced to life imprisonment in July, while Mallikarjuna was convicted of raping a 16-year-old differently abled girl from the ST community, who was his tenant and impregnated her, was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 30 years in August. The court also awarded Rs 7 lakh in compensation to the victim.
Prakasham and the victim were in a relationship for a few years and they had even purchased a plot together. However, after she found that Prakasham was already married and had children, she started avoiding him and also got the plot registered under her mother’s name. Prakasham asked her to return his share, but she was delaying the project. In this regard, both parties lodged complaints against each other on various allegations. Bearing a grudge, Prakasham, with the help of two others, killed her in 2019.
Prakasham stated that due to the previous cases, her family had suspected him. He contended that the plot dispute as presented by the police, was a false story, but the court asked him if he had no interest over the plot, how could he question her family members for selling the property. He also created an alibi showing that he was on bandobast duty on the day of the offence. When he contended that his confession before police cannot be admitted as per the Evidence Act, the court said, when there is no motive for the witness (police) to implicate the accused falsely, the extra-judicial confession should generally be accepted.
Police also proved that the last calls made from the victim’s phone to the witnesses, and the calls between the accused and the victim were in the same duration. Further, the court found that the statements of the witnesses were supported by “ocular and documentary evidence”. The other two were acquitted due to lack of evidence against them. In Mallikarjuna’s case too, he stated before the court that a false case was made against him and that the victim was tutored to testify against him, but the DNA examination of the aborted foetus established that he had raped the victim and impregnated her.
From the demeanour of the victim, the court observed that she was not tutored. Referring to the witness who turned hostile, the court pointed out that as they include his grandmother and neighbours, the accused might have won them over.