Madurai: Holding that sustained provocation by her son in refusing to take care of her led a woman to kill him, Madras High Court Bench here has ruled it could not be termed as murder and commuted the life sentence imposed on the 60-year old widow to six years rigorous imprisonment.
Partly allowing a criminal appeal filed by M Poovammal of Agasthiarpuram in Tirunelveli district against her conviction by a lower court, a bench comprising Justices N Paul Vasanthakumar and P Devadass modified it as a culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
According to prosecution, Poovammal`s son M. Deivendran had been living with his wife at her native since their marriage.
After the death of her husband on October 5, 2007, Poovammal
insisted that her son and daughter-in-law and live with her.
However, as he refused to heed her plea, Poovammal got angry and attacked him with an axe in their house on October
23, 2007. Later, she locked herself in a room and injured herself in an attempt to commit suicide.
Noting that her daughter-in-law stood witness to the entire sequence of events, Justice Devadass, who wrote the judgement,
said the incident was the result of the `boundless love` the mother had for her son.
There was no premeditation on Poovammal`s part.She picked up the axe suddenly. The situation was created by her son. Her
immediate post conduct was her attempt to kill herself.
So, at the time when the offence was committed, she lost her mental balance. The frustration and anguish created by the
deceased (her son) in her mind continuously after October 5 got erupted in the form of her overt act on October 23. The Judge observed and held such act would only fall under the category of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.