COIMBATORE/NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed death penalty in the rape and murder a 10-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother in Coimbatore in October 2010. Manoharan, who was 23 years at the time of the crime, was a van driver. He was found guilty of colluding with Mohana Krishnan, the main conspirator who kidnapped the children in a bid to demand ransom.
Mohana Krishnan was killed in a police encounter on November 9, 2010. Manoharan was found guilty and awarded death penalty by a trial court in 2014, which was challenged and upheld by the Madras High Court in March 2014, and now by the apex court.
The siblings were children of a textile merchant in Coimbatore. They were abducted by Mohana Krishnan, a call taxi driver, near a temple when they were on their way to school on October 29, 2010. Manoharan joined Mohana Krishnan near Pollachi.
Though the children were kidnapped for ransom, the girl was sexually assaulted. They were poisoned and thrown into the PAP Canal near Udumalpet. Their bodies, with limbs tied up, were recovered after two days.
On Thursday, a three-judge bench headed by justice RF Nariman, by a majority of 2:1, termed the offence shocking and cold-blooded, while upholding the verdicts of the trial court and Madras High Court to award death penalty to Manoharan. The court held the offence fell under rarest of rare categories.
The third judge, Khanna was of the view that instead of death penalty, jail term for remainder of his life without any remission would be enough. However, Justices Nariman and Surya Kanth held in their order that no remorse had been shown by the appellant at all, and given the nature of crime, as stated in HC judgment, it’s unlikely the appellant, if set free, would not be capable of committing such a crime yet again. “Consequently, we confirm the death sentence.”
What the third judge said
Justice Khanna was of the view that instead of death penalty, jail term for remainder of his life without any remission would be enough