The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has upheld the double-life sentence for a couple for killing a baby boy in a case of human sacrifice.
On August 3, 2012, the VIth Additional District Sessions Court in Madurai convicted Abdul Kaffoor (38) and his wife Rameela Beevi (28) of Kayalpattinam in Thoothukudi for abducting a one year and nine month child from another couple and handing him over for human sacrifice.
According to prosecution, the baby was kidnapped when the baby’s father Gowhar Batcha and his grandmother Sulthan Beevi were staying at a dargah for a night to fulfill a vow, on July 2, 2010. Further, the Tallakulam police had filed a case and arrested Abdul Kaffoor and his wife Rameela Beevi for kidnapping and murdering the baby.
The Additional Sessions Court had convicted the couple and sentenced them to life under Section 302 (Murder) of the IPC and under Section 364 (kidnapping for murder). They were also awarded seven years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
The convicted couple in their appeal said that there were many loopholes in the submissions of the prosecution witness and it was impossible to kidnap a child where hundreds of people stayed during the night.
They also contended that their faces were telecast widely by media which left a deep impression in the minds of the prosecution witnesses and stated that the lower court had erred in convicting them on surmises and conjunctures.
Hearing the appeal, the Bench comprising Justices A Selvam and V S Ravi said that the lower court had considered material points like child missing, investigation in search for the accused, arrest, confession and consequential recovery, identity of the deceased child, a case of death whether homicide or accidental, and circumstances that connect the accused with the crime.
The Judges said, “The above mentioned reasons and circumstances are sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused and the trial court is not solely based on recoveries. In fact, there are other relevant circumstances and materials as mentioned above and also a chain of events suggesting the involvement of the accused in the crime.
The trial court convicted the accused only after proper appreciation of all evidences on records and on careful scrutiny of entire materials available on record, and it is found that the reason given by the lower court for the conviction of the accused fairly stands.”