Chennai: Holding that investigation was done in a “very careless” manner and citing insufficient evidence, the Madras High Court has acquitted seven accused in the murder of a doctor from Dindigul in 2009 while upholding life term awarded to two others in the case by a lower court.
A division bench in Madurai comprising justices S Nagamuthu and M V Muralidaran also observed that the trial court was also “in error on many counts”.
“Though the case is very sensational, adequate attention was not bestowed by the agencies including the investigating agency,” the bench said.
Noting that the investigation was done in a “very careless” manner, the bench said, “Because of the failure of the investigating agency to collect sufficient evidence, we are unable to convict the other culprits who joined hands with Accused 1 and 2.”
The matter relates to the murder of Baskaran (71), a medical practitioner from Dindigul district, who was abducted in April 2009 by a gang for ransom.
During the CB-CID investigation, it was revealed that Baskaran was abducted and murdered by nine persons.
In 2015, the Principal District and Sessions Court at Dindigul had sentenced eight accused to life imprisonment while one of them was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment. Except one, all the other accused challenged their conviction.
When the matter came up recently, the bench said, “The murder and robbery had taken place in one and the same transaction. In other words the one who committed robbery had committed murder also.”
“We have to raise the presumption that it was these two accused (A1&A2) who were the perpetrators of the crime because they were found in possession of the stolen property soon after the commission of robbery for which they had no explanation to offer.”
“The trial court was also in error on many counts,” the bench said.
“We are unable to understand as to how the trail court was justified in framing charge under section 149 IPC (unlawful assembly) when there were no materials at all in the police report that all the nine accused were together at the time when the murder was committed,” it said.