Masdras HC refuses to set aside life sentence awarded to boy

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Chennai, Nov 21 (UNI) Madras High Court today refused to set aside a life sentence handed down to a convict who raped and murdered a 12-year-old-girl when he was 16.

Gangadharan (21), hailing from Dharmapuri district, moved the High Court to set aside the life sentence, awarded by the District Court on the ground that being a minor at the time of crime, his case should have been tried in the juvenile court.

Dismissing the petition, the Division Bench comprising Justice D Murugasen and V Periya Karuppiah held that the petitioner should have sought the transfer of the case to the juvenile court when it was being tried at the District Court.

The Bench also observed that the District Court pronounced orders when the boy had attained the age of 21 years and upheld the Lower Court judgement.

The boy, hailing from Thenkanikottai had kidnapped 12-year-old Sumitra, his neighbour, raped and murdered her in 1996.

Holding that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt, the Dharmapuri District Court had convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment and had slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 in August 2001.


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