Supreme Court sets aside death warrant of man convicted for killing college girl, lover
The Madras high court had on March 13 confirmed the death sentence of Kattavellai alias Devakar after holding him guilty of rape and double murder near Suruli hills in Theni district
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday set aside a warrant for the execution of death sentence of a 30-year-old man who was convicted for killing a college girl and her lover after raping her in Tamil Nadu in 2011.
The Madras high court had on March 13 confirmed the death sentence of Kattavellai alias Devakar after holding him guilty of rape and double murder near Suruli hills in Theni district.
The trial court subsequently issued a warrant for the execution of the death sentence on March 27.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that the issuance of the warrant of the death sentence without giving the convict him the opportunity to exhaust the remedies available under the law was unsustainable.
"Be that as it may, as the period for filing of a special leave petition/an appeal against the order of conviction and sentence passed is yet to be over, we are of the view that the warrant for execution of death sentence, dated March 27, 2019, is contrary to the law laid down by this Court...," the bench said.
"We deem it proper, without issuing any notice, to set aside the said warrant of execution of death sentence and allow this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution," it said.
The court further said that if Kattavellai files an appeal against the high court order then it will receive due attention of the Court.
Kattavellai has challenged the issuance of a death warrant against him by the trial court without allowing him to move the apex court.
The high court had noted that the convict had also cut off the girl's limbs after killing her.
"It was a brutal act on the helpless young couple, that too after raping the girl. The savageness of the act was shocking and such a person will be a menace to the society," it said.
The high court said the case fell in the category of rarest of rare case and the accused deserved the death sentence.
A trial court in Theni district had sentenced Kattavellai to death in March 2018, saying the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
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