MADURAI: The Witness Protection System, though it was upgraded in 2018, has not instilled confidence in witnesses to depose against criminals, observed the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. In such cases, however, it is the duty of the court to separate chaff from the grain, it said. The court made the observation while upholding the conviction and sentence imposed on three persons who murdered a man as an act of revenge for a drunken brawl involving the four in 2014.
Hearing an appeal filed by the trio challenging the order of conviction passed by a lower court, a Bench of Justices T Raja and B Pugalendhi noted that all the eye-witnesses in the case turned hostile. During cross examination, one of the eye-witnesses even said that he was afraid to depose against the accused. After making the above observation, the judges, after analysing the evidence, upheld the trio's conviction.
The deceased entered into a quarrel with the first accused, Padhakumar, after he broke a glass in the latter's bar. Later, the deceased assaulted Padhakumar and injured his face. Infuriated, the accused went to the house of the deceased and threatened his pregnant wife. Fearing for her husband's life, she sent him to Kerala. However, when the deceased returned home to see his newborn, Padhakumar and friends, Alex Pandiyan and Mari, traced him and hacked him to death.