- Madras High Court suspended conviction and sentence of 7
- Fire in a Kumbakonam school in July 2004 killed 94 children and a teacher
- 21 people, including the school founder and wife, were charged
The division bench, comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and VM Velumani also abated the sentence and conviction in the case of the wife of the school founder, who had passed away.
It reserved its orders on appeals by the accused, as well as that by the state against the acquittals, passed by a lower court in Madurai.
A total of 21 accused had been charged under various sections of IPC in the incident.
On July 30, 2014, the trial court had acquitted 11 of them and convicted and sentenced the other 10, including Pulavar Palanisamy, founder of Sri Krishna Matriculation School, to life imprisonment and his wife Saraswathi to five years.
As Sarawathi passed away during the period of appeal, the bench abated the charges against her.
It modified the life sentence awarded to Palanisamy to one of the period already undergone during investigation, trial and post conviction and modified the fine amount to Rs to Rs 1,16,500.
The Bench, which dismissed the appeal by Vasanthi, the cook, who was awarded five years imprisonment by the trial court, modified the sentence to one of the period already undergone.
It directed that the bail bonds executed by the accused shall stand terminated.
Ninety four children and a teacher were charred to death and 16 others seriously injured when a devastating fire swept through the Sri Krishna School and Saraswathi Nursery School complex in Kumbakonam on July 16, 2004.
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