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TN bus burning: Plea to enhance sentence

March 30, 2007 21:34 IST

A petition was filed on Friday before the Madras high court seeking to enhance the sentence awarded to 25 accused in the Dharmapuri bus burning case in which three girl students from Coimbatore Agriculture University were burnt alive in 2000.

The petition was filed by Mr Kesavachandran, father of Hemalatha, one of the students who lost her life in the incident.

Justice K N Basha, before whom the petition came up for hearing, referred it to a Division Bench comprising Justices R Balasubramanian and Praba Sridevan.

A sessions court in Salem awarded death sentence to three accused and seven years rigorous imprisonment to the 25 accused in the case, recently. The appeals were pending before the Division Bench.

The sessions judge awarded sentences ranging from one to two years rigorous imprisonment on various counts to the 25 accused which were to run consecutively totalling to seven years rigorous imprisonment.

In his petition, Mr Kesavachandran cited the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Public Properties (Prevention of Damages) Act and contended if an offence was proved under this law, the maximum sentence was ten years.

The Act also provided for compensation. But the trial court had awarded only two years rigorous imprisonment on this count. Hence, the sentence awarded to the 25 accused should be enhanced, he added.