CHENNAI: A division Bench of the Madras High Court has acquitted N Banu, prime accused in K Vijayan’s murder case, which rocked the State in 2008. Vijayan is the husband of Sudha, adopted daughter of MGR’s wife V N Janaki. Banu is Sudha’s sister.
“We hold that so far as Banu is concerned, her alleged participation in the conspiracy has not been proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubts,” the Bench said. The Bench was passing orders on a batch of appeals from the accused challenging the orders dated July 13, 2016 of the Principal Sessions Judge here, awarding life term to all accused, except Karuna, a constable.
With regard to M Karthik (A-7), the only evidence available against him is that he lent his ambassador car to Karuna. But absolutely there is no evidence that he either had knowledge or reason to believe that the car was going to be used for Vijayan’s murder.
“In the absence of the same, for the simple reason that his car was used by the other accused for murder, we cannot come to the conclusion that he was a party to the conspiracy. There is no evidence at all against him. Therefore, he is entitled to acquittal from all charges.”
The Bench, however, held that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the charge of conspiracy against Karuna, the constable. “He is liable for conviction for conspiracy read with murder. The trial court has not, however, imposed any sentence. This is illegal.”
MGR Vijayan was murdered on June 4, 2008 near the Adyar bridge at Kotturpuram. The Principal Session’s Judge in Chennai found all of them guilty and sentenced them to imprisonment for life on July 13, 2016.
MGR’s wife V N Janaki had a brother by name Narayanan, who had three daughters – Latha Rajendran, Sudha Vijayakumar and Banu Sridhar. MGR left behind a will as per which after Janaki, properties should be distributed among her legal heirs and leading advocate N C Raghavachari will be the administrator.
Raghavachari later declined to continue, and as per the will, Rajendran, first son-in-law, became administrator. In due course property dispute arose among the legal heirs.
The Bench also pulled up the trial court for failing to convict the accused under Section 120 B (conspiracy). The trial court had not imposed any punishment for conspiracy but imposed punishment only for murder in pursuance of conspiracy. Omission to impose punishment for conspiracy is contrary to the mandate of the Indian Penal Code, the judges said.