The Madras High Court on Tuesday upheld the verdict of the Chengalpet court in connection with the sexual assault and murder of a seven-year-old girl named Hasini in Chennai. Judges S Vimala and S Ramathilagam dismissed convict Dhasvanth's appeal to quash his death sentence in the case and maintained that he will be hanged to death.
In February, a Chengalpet court convicted the techie and also sentenced him to death.
The court held Dhasvanth guilty on all charges including those under Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. He has been convicted under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abduction), 354-b (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), 302 (murder), and 201 (causing disappearence of evidence) of the IPC and section 8 read with 7, 6, 5(m) of POCSO (punishment for aggravated sexual assault).
A month later, he moved the Madras High court, appealing that the death sentence be quashed. The convict claimed that the investigation conducted in the case was not satisfactory. He alleged that the dates mentioned by various witnesses did not corroborate and that the investigation was done with the sole intention to convict him.
The court examined 30 witnesses, 45 documents and 19 pieces of evidence. In all, he has been awarded 46 years rigorous imprisonment.
Hasini went missing from the apartment complex she stayed in with her family in Mugalivakkam on February 6, 2017.
The Chennai police arrested Dhasvanth, who also lived in the same building. He had apparently lured her away with a dog, and then sexually assaulted and killed her.
In December 2017, on the very first day of the trial, Dhasvanth was reprimanded by the court for ‘confessing’ to the crime so that the trial could be done away with. He wrote a six-page letter to the court, which was rejected by judge P Velmurugan, who also said that the accused “could not play with the courts.”
Meanwhile, the techie seemed to show little remorse for his actions as Hasini's father told TNM that he had been repeatedly threatened by Dhasvanth in the court premises. He said that Dhasvanth had threatened to murder his son, Hasini’s younger brother, as well.
The most significant turning point in the case came on December 2, 2017, when Dhasvanth’s mother was found bludgeoned to death while he was out on bail. Dhasvanth had allegedly killed her and escaped with her jewelry, which he split with David and James, two jail mates from Puzhal Central Prison whom he had befriended.
He was caught by the police on December 6 in Mumbai, only to escape a day later. He was re-arrested the very next day, when he was found a few kilometres away from the Vile Parle area from where he had escaped.
Dhasvanth also reportedly confessed to killing his mother and said that he would have killed his father Sekhar as well had he not been late in returning from work that day.
Things changed for him after his mother’s death. His father withdrew the legal support he was providing for Dhasvanth. The state has been providing Dhasvanth legal aid after his family withdrew support.
(TNM uses Hasini's name as the father had told us to, in pursuit of justice for her.)