Madras HC Reduces Life Sentence Of Woman Who Set Her Minor Daughter On Fire
The Madras High Court has reduced the life imprisonment awarded to a mother who had been convicted of setting her minor daughter on fire and thereby causing her death to 10 years in jail.
The Bench of Justice P.N. Prakash and Justice G. Jayachandran altered the charge from that Section 302 to one under Section 304 (1) of IPC and observed that the conviction of the appellant for the offence under Section 302 IPC could not be sustained.
In this case, the deceased Mariselvi was 13 years old and was admitted to Government Aided Residential School in Kovilpatti to pursue her studies. But she was not interested in studies, and after a week she returned home at midnight by escaping from the hostel without informing the wardens.
This act of Mariselvi triggered a quarrel between the appellant-mother and the daughter in which, the mother angrily threw kerosene on her daughter and lighted it. She was immediately rushed to the Government Hospital where she was admitted with 50 % burns.
The daughter received the treatment for over four months and was discharged from the hospital. However, she was readmitted as the burns were not healing and ultimately, she succumbed to her injuries.
The Trial Court found the appellant mother guilty and convicted her for the offence under section 302 IPC and sentenced her to undergo life imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- and in default to undergo 6 months rigorous imprisonment. Aggrieved by the order, the appellant preferred the Appeal.
The question before the Court was whether the appellant had intention to commit the murder of her daughter.
Advocate R. Manickaraj appeared for the appellant and APP S. Ravi appeared for the State.
The Court observed that “Taking all these facts into consideration, we afraid that we cannot sustain the conviction of the appellant for the offence under Section 302 IPC and instead, the conviction can be one under Section 304(1) IPC.”
Therefore, the Court had set aside the conviction under Section 302 and sentenced her to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years under section 304 (1) IPC and pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- in default to undergo 6 months rigorous imprisonment.
“The conviction and sentence of the appellant for the offence under Section 302 IPC is set aside. The appellant is convicted for the offence under Section 304(1) IPC and sentenced to undergo 10 years rigorous imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- in default to under go 6 months rigorous imprisonment. The fine amount already paid for the conviction and sentence under Section 302 IPC would hold good for this too. The appellant is directed to immediately secure the appellant and produce her before the trial Court and on such production, she shall be remanded to custody for undergoing the remaining part of sentence after set off under Section 428 Cr.P.C.” said the Court.
Accordingly, the Appeal was allowed.
Cause Title- Rajeshwari v. State rep by The Inspector of Police