The Madras High Court on Monday acquitted the prime accused and modified the death sentence awarded to five others to life imprisonment in 2016 killing of a 22-year old man in full public view in Tirupur district in Tamil Nadu.
Passing orders on appeals, a division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and M Nirmal Kumar acquitted B Chinnaswamy, father of Kausalya, whose husband Shankar was hacked to death in front of her in Udumlapet town and relieved him from all charges including that of criminal conspiracy.
The bench sentenced the five other accused to life imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years without any right to remission.
Chinnaswamy and the others had been sentenced to death by a lower court in connection with the horrific daylight killing which was caught on camera and evoked public outrage.
The High Court also confirmed the acquittal of Kausalya's mother and two others.
The court also ordered release of all those acquitted who are presently under incarceration if their custody is not required in connection with any other case.
Sankar, a dalit and native of Kumaralingam near Udumalpet, fell in love with non-dalit Kausalya, while they were studying in a private engineering college in Pollachi.
They got married against the wishes of her parents following which the family allegedly hatched a conspiracy to eliminate them.
On March 13, 2016, a three-member gang hacked Sankar to death. Kausalya also suffered injuries in the attack.
On December 12, 2017 the Tirupur district sessions court sentenced six people, including Chinnaswamy to death for the murder.
Of the 11 accused, six were sentenced to death. Three others, including her mother, maternal uncle and a 16-year old relative were acquitted of all charges while two others got lesser sentences.
Challenging the death sentence awarded to them, Kausalya's father Chinnasamy and the other moved the appeal.
Similarly, the investigation officer also moved appeal against acquittal of Kausalya's mother and two others by the trial court.