The Madras High Court on Tuesday quashed the death penalty awarded to a man by the Tiruvannamalai District Fast Track Mahila Court for the murder of a 4-year-old girl.
While quashing the death sentence, the High Court observed that the police have failed to prove charges against Manikandan. The bench comprising of Justice S Vimala and Justice S Ramathilagam, has ordered the case to be investigated by the CBI.
28-year-old Manikandan was sentenced to death for kidnapping and murdering 4-year-old Pechiammal. Following this, Manikandan appealed to the Madras High Court against the sentence.
Manikandan, a resident of Melapalanandhal village in Tiruvannamalai district, allegedly kidnapped Pechiammal, daughter of Paramasivam from her school at Mangalam village on June 10, 2013, reported The Times of India. Paramasivam lodged a complaint with the Mangalam police station on June 13, 2013.
Following this, Manikandan absconded.
The girlâ€™s body was found floating in a well in Arapakkam on June 19, reported The Hindu. Inquiry conducted at the school revealed that Manikandan had allegedly taken the girl from school. Manikandan, who had been absconding, was arrested on June 22.
Manikandan allegedly confessed to the kidnap and murder of the child, citing financial dispute with her father as the motive. Manikandan, who had borrowed money from Paramasivam, and the two got into a quarrel when Paramasivam asked him to return the money. Manikandan asked Paramasivam for more money, offering to repay the loan after he started a business. However, Paramasivam refused to give more money, says The Hindu report.
Principal District Judge G Mahizhenthi of the Tiruvannamalai District Fast Track Mahila Court awarded Manikandan death sentence on January 31 under section 302 (Punishment for Murder) of IPC. He was also sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 was imposed under section 364A (Kidnapping for Ransom).