The court was hearing the criminal appeal filed by Sivakandan, Thiyagarajan and Raja alias Ashok Kumar challenging their conviction and sentence. The Kanyakumari CB-CID had also filed an appeal challenging the acquittal of two other men from this case. Yet another man involved in the case died before the final report was filed.
The prosecution case is that there was enmity between two groups since 2001 over a temple administration. One was headed by Sathasivam and the other by Udayakumar, an advocate, and Udayasankar, SI of police (SI). The appellants along with the other three men decided to bump off Manikandan belonging to the Sathasivam group. On July 7, 2010, he was sitting inside his omni van at Irulappapuram junction opposite to a private hospital when the appellants along with others attacked him using billhooks.
Manikandan ran for cover into the hospital, but the accused followed him and attacked him indiscriminately killing him on the spot. Police arrested the accused and the case was transferred to Kanyakumari CB-CID.
A division bench of Justices J Nisha Banu and N Anand Venkatesh observed that the doctor running the private hospital had stated that he came to the spot in five minutes and found Manikandan dead. He also spoke about the presence of other witnesses there. The judges said there is no reason to discard the evidence of the doctor who is a neutral person.
The witnesses obviously should have been overtaken by events when such a gory murder takes place. It would have obviously disturbed the mental faculties of the eyewitnesses and they cannot be expected to perfectly reflect what actually happened, observed the judges.Hence they dismissed the appeals preferred by three men and confirmed the conviction and life sentence as well as acquittal of the two other men.