SC reserves verdict in ragging related murder

The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its judgement on TN govt`s appeal challenging the acquittal of a medical student John David allegedly responsible for the gruesome murder of a fellow student Navarasu in a ragging incident

Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 23:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday
reserved its judgement on Tamil Nadu government`s appeal
challenging the acquittal of a medical student John David
allegedly responsible for the gruesome murder of a fellow
student Navarasu in a ragging incident.

A bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Mukundakam
Sharma reserved the verdict after hearing senior counsel
Sushil Kumar for the accused and S Thananjeyan for the State.

The case of the prosecution was that David, a senior
medical student, allegedly habituated to ragging, used to rag
the victim Navarasu, son of the then Madras University vice
chancellor Ponnuswamy.

The two reportedly had a fight on November 6, 1996 in
which David is alleged to have killed Navarsu. Thereafter, it
was alleged that David chopped the body into pieces.

He reportedly threw the truncated head into the water
canal of the university. The torso was carried in a suitcase
and dumped in a state-owned bus at Chennai. The limbs were
thrown at Puducherry en route to Chennai, the prosecution
claimed.

On the basis of circumstantial evidence, the Sessions
Court sentenced David to life imprisonment, but the Madras
High Court acquitted him due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Aggrieved, the state appealed against David`s acquittal
in the apex court.

Counsel for the state Thananjeyan assailed the High
Court on the ground that it failed to appreciate clinching
evidence of the prosecution which recovered the chopped head
at the instance of David and the blood-stained suitcase in
which the torso was carried to Chennai.

Further, the state took the plea that the deceased and
the victim were last seen together on the fateful day before
the dismembered body was recovered.

Counsel for the accused Sushil Kumar defended the
acquittal on the ground that the prosecution`s theory rested
merely on conjectures, surmises and coerced confession.

PTI