A father of four children, who had raped a minor girl and subsequently killed the victim and her mother in Coimbatore in 2008, was on Thursday sentenced to undergo three life terms in jail by the District Mahila Court.
Significantly, though, the sentencing came against the backdrop of the gang-rape of a college student in a moving bus in Delhi that prompted angry Parliamentarians to call for awarding death penalty to rapists. Judge M P Subramanian steered clear of playing to the public gallery in the instant case.
He reasoned: “Though the offence is rare among the rarest and the accused is unfit to live in the society, this court should also take into consideration the (convict’s) four children (aged) below 10 years, their future, the age of the accused and the aged parents. Hence this court (is) of the considered view that instead of awarding capital punishment, life imprisonment keeping the accused away from the public will be sufficient to meet the ends of justice.”
The judge who had last Friday held the accused
A Murugan (34) guilty of committing rape, two murders, wrongful confinement, house trespass and robbery, also awarded him 10 years RI, seven months RI (two counts) and six months RI, in addition to a cumulative penalty of Rs 12,500. All sentences would run concurrently.