It’s painful that women are still ashamed of begetting girl children: Madras High Court – The Hindu

Chennai News

Judge sets aside punishment imposed on a woman who had killed two of her girl children by administering poison

Judge sets aside punishment imposed on a woman who had killed two of her girl children by administering poison

On coming across a case of a woman having killed her two girl children by administering poison in 2016 besides attempting to end her life because she was unable to bear the taunt of the society, the Madras High Court has said that it is a matter of great pain that a woman should feel ashamed of begetting girl children.

Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy expressed deep anguish and set aside the punishment imposed on the woman by invoking the Probation of Offenders Act of 1958. The judge summoned the woman to court and obtained an undertaking from her that she shall take good care of her two other girl children and educate them.

Commencing his verdict with Mahakavi Bharathiyar’s poem on gender equality, the judge wrote: “This is a sad case which stands testimony to the gender inquality prevailing in our society. Unfortunately, this occurrence happened in the year 2016 and we, as a society, have not corrected ourselves. It is a matter of great pain.”

The judge pointed out the appellant had been booked under Section 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code by Ponnai Circle Police in Vellore district. The charge against her was that she had killed her second daughter aged about three years and third girl child aged about 18 months. The woman had spared the eldest child aged five years.

After the incident, the woman had given birth to a fourth girl child who was alive now. During the course of trial, almost all witnesses turned hostile and claimed the three-year-old child had consumed poison by mistake and also administered it to her 18- month-old sister. They claimed the appellant attempted suicide because she was dejected by the death of her children.

After a full-fledged trial, a fast track court convicted her under Section 304A (causing death by negligence) of IPC on two counts and awarded three years of imprisonment in 2019. It was this judgment that had been challenged before the High Court by way of an appeal.

The judge decided to set the appellant free after ascertaining that she was no more ashamed of mothering girl children and obtaining an undertaking to take good care of the two surviving children.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal tendencies is available at State Helpline 104)