MADURAI: The Madurai bench of Madras High Court set aside the conviction by a lower court in a murder case involving a mentally ill person.
R Maruthu, the accused in the case, had beaten to death five people, including two women, in 2009 in Melachivapuri village in Pudukottai district. Despite presenting evidence about his mental illness, a mahila court in Pudukottai, convicted him and imposed capital punishment citing reasons that he knew the consequence of his act and confessed to having killed the five persons.
Setting aside the capital punishment and the conviction, the High Court Bench observed that the particular crime clearly came under the exemption provided by Section 84 of the IPC.
There have also been instances where people have been punished or sent to asylums after being diagnosed with mental illness by incompetent authorities.
Citing another example, K Chandru, retired Judge of Madras High Court, said a woman named Tamilarasi in Sivaganga was terminated from employment as a sweeper after being certified as a schizophrenia patient by a nondescript doctor.
“I referred her to the Government Rajaji Hospital where she was kept under observation for 21 days after which the doctors certified that she has no mental illness,” he added.
He said that a fine was imposed on the Collector and he was directed to reinstate Tamilarasi in service.