SC declines to interfere with 7-yr jail term of couple for killing their love child

SC declines to interfere with 7-yr jail term of couple for killing their love child

The Supreme Court has declined to interfere with a seven-year jail term of an Armyman and his wife for killing their 25-day-old love child in 2011.  

The couple from Uttara Kannada district had married against their parents' wishes at Bengaluru. They had abandoned the child at Kukke Subramanya, fearing adverse consequences, as the wife had given birth within a few months after marriage.

A bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and U U Lalit did not find any ground to interfere with the conviction and sentence, awarded to Shekhar V Harikanth and his wife Nagarathna, by the Karnataka High Court on June 16, 2016.

Senior advocate R Basanth, appearing for the petitioner, challenged the HC's order that had reversed their acquittal by the trial court on August 23, 2011.

The top court, however, dismissed their appeal after finding that there was sufficient evidence completing the chain of circumstances to prove the charges against them.

According to the prosecution, the parents of the couple were not agreeable to their marriage. Nagarathna did not disclose her pregnancy. She came to Bengaluru and the couple got married at a temple at Domlur. They got their marriage registered at sub-registrar office, Indiranagar, Bengaluru. A girl child was born to them at Air Force Command Hospital on March 6, 2011.

Bury baby alive

However, on March 31, 2011, the couple went to Kukke Subramanya and buried the child. As they were returning empty-handed, autodrivers and others suspected foul play. They caught the couple and took them to the police station, where they were let off after the man showed his Army identity card and certificate of marriage. On April 4, 2011, a carcass of a female child was found, leading to their arrest for murder. A DNA report proved the child was born to the couple. The couple had subsequently claimed they did not kill the child but had just abandoned her  in the hope that some childless couple might adopt her.

The HC, however, held them guilty of culpable homicide and the offence of abandoning the child.

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