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Udumalpet honour killing case: Supreme Court issues notice in appeal against acquittal of Kausalya's parents and maternal uncle

The appellant sought a direction from the Court to prevent the accused from travelling abroad. However, the Court refused to pass such an order.

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today issued notice in an appeal against the acquittal of Kausalya's parents and maternal uncle in the Udumalpet honour killing case.

The Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari said that the case needs consideration in detail and granted special leave to appeal.

The Court has also asked the array of parties to be amended so that the State of Tamil Nadu is made a party to the case.

Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, appearing for the appellant, sought a direction from the Court to prevent the accused from travelling abroad. However, the Court refused to pass such an order.

When Additional Advocate General for the State of Tamil Nadu Balaji Srinivasan sought for the case to be expedited, the Court observed that even service of the plea is yet to be completed.

The March 2016 attack on Dalit activist Kausalya and her husband Shankar outside the Udumalpet bus stand had rattled the country. While Kausalya recovered from the attack, Shankar succumbed to his injuries. Video footage of the honour killing went viral on social media, leading to protests in the state.

The gang that killed Shankar was allegedly sent by his wife Kausalya’s father, Chinnasamy, a driver and a local money lender from Palani.

Kausalya went on to become the lead prosecution witness in the case against her parents and others for the murder of her husband.

In December 2017, a lower court acquitted Kausalya's mother Annalakshmi and uncle Pandidurai. The five assailants who had carried out the murder were convicted and sentenced to death.

On June 22, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court acquitted Kausalya's father Chinnaswamy and set aside all the charges including that of criminal conspiracy.

The conviction of the five assailants was upheld by the High Court. In lieu of the trial court's death penalty, they were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment with a condition of a minimum of 25 years' imprisonment without remission.

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