The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the acquittal of a man who is charged with murdering his son-in-law, a Dalit man. The top court issued a notice to Chinnasamy, after his daughter and the Tamil Nadu government challenged the Madras High Court's decision in the 2016 case of Udumalpet daylight killing case.
"This matter certainly needs reconsideration," the top court said.
The case pertains to the public killing of Shankar, who had married Kowsalya, a non-Dalit, against the wishes of her parents in 2016. On March 13 that year, a three-member gang hacked Shankar to death in an attack that also left Ms Kowsalya injured.
In 2017, the Tirupur district session sentenced six of the 11 accused, including Ms Kowsalya's father Chinnasamy, to death. Three others, including her mother Annalakshmi, maternal uncle Pandi Thurai and a 16-year-old relative, were acquitted of all charges, while two others got lesser sentences.
However, recently, on June 22, the Madras High Court acquitted Chinnasamy and set aside his punishment. It also modified to life term (25 years in jail) the death sentence given to five others in the case.
The High Court had said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the conspiracy to kill Shankar - a 23-year-old Dalit engineering student - was hatched by Chinnasamy.
Reacting to the verdict, Ms Kowsalya had said, "I have not lost confidence in the judiciary." She had said she hoped that the state government would move the Supreme Court and that she would not hesitate to join the legal battle.
Ms Kowsalya had disowned her parents after her husband's murder and has since been living with her in-laws in Udumulapet, near Coimbatore. She was also given a government job.