SC upholds life term for Hassan man who impregnated, killed girl in 1996

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a man from Hassan against life imprisonment awarded to him for killing a girl from Chikkamagaluru after impregnating her 22 years ago.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi said though there was no eye-witness to the offence, circumstantial evidence pointed towards guilt of S P Prasanna, now 43-year-old.

The court said the circumstances which were proved included that the accused and deceased Nagarathna were young in age and had known to each other as she lived near his grandfather’s place, frequented by him.

On a day in August 1996, she left her home by telling her parents that she was going to aunt’s place at Sevanthanahalli. A week after, the parents were told she was not at the aunt’s place. A few days thereafter, they were informed about the recovery of a body at Padamshree lodge at Chikkamagaluru.

The lodge manager and room boy identified the accused as the person who had booked the room along with the young girl, declaring himself as Naveen, her husband. On post-mortem, the girl was found to be pregnant. The court also noted that the handwriting at the lodge register and the accused’s specimen were found to be same.

In his appeal, argued by senior advocate R Venkatramani, Prasanna contended that the police could not prove that the room keys were recovered at his instance. The prosecution, for its part, claimed the accused developed illicit relationship with the girl and later wanted to get rid of her.

“It is our considered view, that even if the last circumstance, which the High Court held to be proved, is to go to the benefit of the accused, the other circumstances cumulatively can point to only one direction, namely, the guilt of the accused,” the bench
said.

The court upheld the High Court of Karnataka’s judgement of June 24, 2011, that overturned acquittal of S P Prasanna by a Chikkamagaluru court

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