The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Madurai Sessions judge to undergo three days’ training on appreciation of evidence and trial of sessions’ cases at the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy after suspending his earlier order of life imprisonment for two accused in a murder.
The Additional Sessions Court at Madurai had on 31 March 2016 handed the duo to life imprisonment in the murder of one Manikandan that occurred a few years ago.
The accused -Chellapandi and Bala alias Balamurugan- went on to file an appeal before the Madurai Division bench of the Madras High Court which –based on the evidence available on record- concluded that the Sessions judge had erred in his judgement.
The HC bench, while passing its order, said: “In the trial, 20 witnesses were examined, of whom all the eye witnesses turned hostile. There is no evidence to prove that the appellants caused the death of the deceased.
But one of the portions of the judgment said the accused formed an opinion to murder Manikandan and accordingly did it. It is proved through the evidence of prosecution witness (PW) 20. But PW 20 is the investigation officer who was not an eye witness.
The Sessions judge has acted in a callousness manner. Hence, the sentence (life imprisonment) is suspended and bail is granted to the appellants.
While suspending the sentence, we deem it necessary to direct the registry to send the sessions judge for a three day-training, particularly on the aspect of appreciation of evidence and trial of sessions cases.”