The court held Dhasvanth guilty on all charges including those under POCSO.

Death sentence for Dhasvanth Hasinis killer gets capital punishment from TN court
news Crime Monday, February 19, 2018 - 15:03

The Chengalpet court on Monday convicted techie Dhasvanth in the rape and murder of seven-year-old Hasini in Chennai, and also sentenced him to death.

The 23-year-old had burnt the little girl’s body after he committed the crime in February 2017.

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).  

The court examined 30 witnesses, 45 documents and 19 pieces of evidence. 

Speaking outside the court, Hasini's father Rajesh’s* lawyer, Kannadasan, said that Dhasvanth had been given seven years for kidnapping, 10 years under section 366 of the IPC, seven years under section 354-b, and seven years for destroying evidence. He will also serve 15 years under POCSO. 

In all, he has been awarded 46 years rigorous imprisonment.

Speaking to the media after the court announced the quantum, Rajesh said that he was happy with the judiciary and the punishment given to his daughter’s killer. “In the last year I have never got sleep. I fought to ensure that the judicial system gave the right punishment in time,” he said. “I know that my child will not come back but I will say thanks to the judiciary. I hope nobody does something like this ever again.”

Background

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.

The case has seen a number of twists and turns.

For starters, it took almost eight months to get Dhasvanth to court. The police failed to file a chargesheet in the case within 90 days, enabling him to get statutory bail on September 12, 2017.

Then, when the trial finally began at a Chengalpet court in October, Dhasvanth's lawyer at the time, Vijayakumar, asked for it to be pushed to February 2018. Vijayakumar's reason was that he had to travel to Australia. However, Rajesh and his counsel worried that this would give them time to tamper with the evidence.

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 Chengalpet Mahila court special 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 Rajesh told TNM that he had been repeatedly threatened by his daughter’s alleged killer 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. 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 has providing for Dhasvanth. He told TNM, “It (bailing him out) was the biggest mistake I had ever made in my life. And it has cost me my wife of 24 years.” He said that he had bailed his son out for love.

The state has been providing Dhasvanth with legal aid after his family withdrew support.

Throughout this ordeal, Rajesh has maintained that he would continue with his fight to get justice for his daughter Hasini. He has asserted that Dhasvanth should get the most severe punishment for his crimes.

*Name changed on request

(This story was modified after the quantum of Dhasvanth's sentence was announced.)

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