Woman accused of killing rapist father-in-law acquitted
By Express News Service - SALEM
07th March 2013 10:01 AM
A woman and her co-accused in a case involving the murder of her father-in-law, who attempted to rape her, were acquitted by a court here on Wednesday.
Defence lawyers said they argued the case on the basis of the Verma Commission report, which supported the line of thought that a woman who kills in self-defence to protect her modesty is not guilty of murder.
Selvi (25), wife of Kumar (30) of Vellalapatti in Omalur taluk, was allegedly tormented by her father-in-law Mahalingam (58), an alcoholic, whenever she was alone at home.
Kumar, a cattle caretaker in a mutt, used to leave home for work early and so did his mother Indhumathy, a curd-seller, and brother Moorthy (27), who worked as a trainee in the Salem Steel Plant.
On July 29, 2010, Mahalingam came home drunk, turned violent and tried to force himself on Selvi.
In a bid to defend herself, Selvi reportedly took a log and hit Mahalingam. A grievously injured Mahalingam was admitted to a hospital, where he succumbed on July 31.
However, the Omalur Police booked cases against Kumar and his brother Moorthy under Section 302 of the CrPc (murder), while Selvi and Indhumathy were booked under Section 301 (removing evidence).
According to P Mayan, one of the defence lawyers, they proved that the police had misrepresented facts in the FIR based on a report from the Village Administrative Officer (VAO).
The VAO had reported that it was Kumar and Moorthy, after coming to know that their father had misbehaved with Selvi, who had attacked and killed Mahalingam.
As per the VAO’s report, Indhumathy and Selvi had wiped off blood stains and removed evidence around the house. But, in fact, Selvi was admitted to a hospital in Omalur on the same day with bruises on her chest, cheek and arms — indicating signs of a rape attempt and subsequent struggle to protect herself.
One of the doctors who treated her had also testified in court. The lawyers said they argued that it was Selvi who had counter-attacked Mahalingam in self defence against his violent advances while the other family members were away.
After hearing both sides, IInd Additional Sessions Judge S Chandrasekaran acquitted Selvi, her husband Kumar, Moorthy and Indhumathy. The defence team was led by noted human rights lawyer B B Mohan.
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