‘Brutal, Heinous,’: Kerala HC Upholds Life Sentence of Man Accused of Murdering 3-YO Son

Life Sentence

The Kerala High Court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a man who brutally beat his three-year-old son to death over doubts about the child’s paternity more than seven years ago.

A division bench comprising Justices P B Suresh Kumar and M B Snehalatha described the violence inflicted by the man on his son as “brutal and heinous,” affirming the trial court’s decision finding him guilty of murder.

“We find no reason to interfere with the conviction and sentence passed by the trial court. The appeal lacks merit and deserves dismissal. Accordingly, we dismiss it,” the bench stated.

As per the prosecution, the father of the victim “harbored doubts about the paternity of the child” and on February 26, 2017, threw the toddler from the courtyard into the house. Subsequently, he viciously beat the child with a belt and slammed his head onto the floor by gripping his legs, resulting in fatal injuries.

The trial court had earlier in December 2021 convicted and sentenced the man to life imprisonment for the murder of his son. He had subsequently appealed this decision in the high court, arguing that he should be convicted under Section 304 of the IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, rather than for murder.

Dismissing the argument, the high court affirmed that there was substantial evidence indicating that the accused had acted with the intent to cause bodily harm to the child. The court emphasized, “The acts committed by the accused were brutal and heinous. Slamming the head of a 3-year-old child onto the floor by holding the legs cannot be construed as an act lacking the intent to commit murder.”

Therefore, the contention by the accused’s counsel that the case should be classified under Section 304 and not Section 300 (murder) was deemed untenable and was not accepted by the bench.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte