Coimbatore Rape-Murder Case: SC reconfirms Death Penalty

R Manoharan was convicted for the rape and double-murder of minor boy and girl.

The Supreme Court today rejected the review petition and upheld the death sentence of the lone-surviving convict in the Coimbatore Rape case. The petitioner R Manoharan had been convicted for the brutal rape and murder of a ten-year old girl and the murder of her seven-year old brother in Coimbatore in 2010.

The Supreme Court had earlier on August 1, 2019 confirmed the death sentence for the man, in a majority judgment of 2:1. The court had held that the case fell into the “rarest of rare category”, terming the offence as “shocking” and “cold-blooded”. It had also noted that Manoharan showed no remorse for the heinous crime.

The review petition also had a split decision with two judges Justices Rohinton Nariman and Suryakant dismissing the plea while the third judge Justice Sanjeev Khanna, who had dissented in the prior judgment, stuck to his earlier view of life sentence.

Coimbatore siblings murder case convict R Manoharan comes out of the Mahila Court in Coimbatore on October 29, 2012 after it found him guilty. Source: The Hindu

In his prior judgment, Justice Khanna had considered the mitigating factors in favour of Manoharan, saying he was a first-time offender and was only 23 years of age at the time of the crime. The crime was masterminded by his friend, Mohanakrishnan, the other accused, who was later shot dead in a police encounter.

The two perpetrators had kidnapped the minor children on October 29, 2010 while they were on their way to school and taken them to a secluded spot. The children’s hands were tied behind their back and the girl was brutally gang-raped and assaulted by both men. The men had then attempted to kill the children by making them consume poisoned milk. When that attempt fail, the children had been thrown into a nearby canal with their hands still tied.

The convict Manoharan has exhausted all legal options of appeal and review of his death penalty, barring a mercy petition before the President.

(Shruti Sundar Ray with agency inputs)