Couple murder: SC sets aside death warrant against man

Couple murder: SC sets aside death warrant against man

The Supreme Court. DH file photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the death warrant issued against T Kattaivellai alias Dhivakar, for killing a 20-yr old college girl and her lover in Theni district in May 2011, after noting the convict has yet not exhausted all legal remedies, including appeal, before it.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that the warrant was issued in violations of the law laid down in the 'Shabnam vs Union of India & Ors' (2015) in this regard.

The court allowed the writ petition filed by the convict without even issuing a notice to the state government and quashed the warrant.

The court was told senior advocate Siddharth Dave that the convict was yet to file the appeal against the March 13 Madras High Court's judgement which had affirmed the capital punishment awarded to the convict.

He also submitted the principal district and sessions judge who on March 27 issued the warrant for the execution of the death penalty, had on Monday withdrawn it.

“Be that as it may, as the period for filing appeal within 60 days time is yet to be over, we are of the view that the warrant issued on March 27 is contrary to the law laid down. Accordingly, we deem it proper to set aside the death warrant issued for the execution of the death sentence,” the bench said.

The counsel said the convict would soon be filing the appeal.

The high court had on March 13 affirmed the death sentence awarded by the trial court in March 2018 to Kattaivellai, 28-year-old coconut plucker, rape and murder of the college student, near Suruli falls in Theni district. The high court had noted the convict had committed the murder in a gruesome manner. He had also killed the girl's lover when he tried to protect her.