Chennai: Five years after a man was sentenced to death in a murder case and the capital punishment later commuted to life, Madras High Court on Saturday awarded him another life term in a separate murder case.
In view of his involvement in a similar case, he does not deserve any leniency, held a division bench comprising Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice G Chockalingam.
G Jayakumar was arrested in connection with the murder of Tamilselvi, wife of a retired Financial Controller of Tamil Nadu Police here, on May 12, 2007.
According to the prosecution, Jayakumar who was doing painting work in Tamilselvi`s house, killed her when she was alone there after taking her gold jewellery. Police recovered a gold chain of the woman from him.
In July 2011, a sessions court here found him guilty of the murder and awarded life imprisonment, against which he approached the high court.
His counsel submitted that only a portion of the stolen ornaments had been recovered and the two main witnesses were relatives of the victim and hence their deposition could not be relied upon.
The judges said merely because the witnesses were relatives of the victim, their statements could not be totally disregarded as they were coherent and reliable.
Also, the non-recovery of a portion of the stolen jewellery would not in any way weaken the case, they said.
As for the plea for leniency, the judges pointed out that the Additional Public Prosecutor had furnished copies of judgments to show that Jayakumar was earlier involved in a murder case and he had been awarded death sentence by a trial court. It was the high court which commuted the sentence into imprisonment for life.
"The involvement of the accused in the earlier case is not denied by counsel for the appellant/accused," the judges said, adding this court is of the considered view that there is no reason to interfere with the judgment of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court."