High Court of Karnataka sentenced Death Penalty for Man who Killed 5, Including 3 of His own Children

Rope Death Sentence Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: 11 June 2023 at 19:15 IST

The Dharward Bench of the High Court of Karnataka has upheld the death sentence of a man who murdered five individuals, including his three young children.

The court has also provided specific instructions to the prosecution when seeking the death penalty in other cases. Recognizing the heinous nature of the crime, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including three children below the age of 10, and the extreme brutality involved, the court reluctantly confirms the trial court’s decision to impose the death penalty.

In our considered opinion, this case meets the criteria of being an exceptionally rare and grave instance that warrants the imposition of the death penalty,” stated the bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj and Justice G Basavaraja while disposing of two petitions filed by the convict and the State.

After concluding the hearing on November 22, 2022, the High Court had reserved judgment on the petitions but sought additional records and reports.

These records were deemed necessary by the court to issue directions to be followed in all cases where the prosecution seeks the death penalty.

The accused, Byluru Thippaiah, a laborer from Kenchanagudda Halli in Kampli, Hosapete, Ballari, suspected his wife of 12 years of having an affair, leading to frequent arguments.

The couple had four children, but Thippaiah claimed that only one of them was his biological child. On February 25, 2017, he attacked his wife, Pakkeeramma, with a chopper.

He also attacked his sister-in-law, Gangamma, and his children, Pavithra, Nagaraj, and Rajappa. Tragically, all five victims succumbed to their injuries.

After a trial conducted by the Sessions Court in Ballari, which involved the examination of 36 witnesses and 51 material objects, Thippaiah was found guilty and sentenced to death on December 3, 2019, under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC. Thippaiah appealed to the High Court against the trial court’s sentence, while the prosecution sought confirmation of the death penalty.

In its judgment, the High Court expressed shock at the brutality of the crime.

“The manner in which the appellant attacked two women and three children in the house, brutally hacking and chopping them, resulting in multiple injuries, and the appellant coming out of the house and proclaiming that he has killed the prostitutes while holding a blood-covered chopper—such actions would shock anyone’s conscience, and it has indeed shocked our conscience, despite us having dealt with numerous murder cases,” the High Court remarked.

While confirming the death sentence, the High Court ordered compensation to be paid to Rajeshwari, the sole surviving child of the massacre.

The Additional Registrar was instructed to forward the relevant file to the District Legal Service Authority to make necessary arrangements.

The High Court also provided guidelines for the prosecution to adhere to in all cases where the death penalty is sought. These guidelines encompass submitting reports on the accused’s conduct and behavior in jail, conducting psychological and physiological evaluations of the accused, providing details of their family background and relationships with siblings, investigating any history of violence or neglect, seeking the opinion of parents and other family members, assessing educational and socio-economic backgrounds, examining any prior criminal record, and reviewing their social behavior history.

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