Upholding a lower court order, the Madras high court on Tuesday confirmed life imprisonment for three accused in the murder of a 24-year-old woman IT employee near her office on the city outskirts more than two years ago.
A division bench of justices S Nagamuthu and V Bharathidasan, said there was no reason to interfere with a trial court order or to reduce the quantum of sentence in the case and confirmed life term for the three migrant workers from West Bengal -- Ram Mandal, Uttam Mandal and Ujjal Mandal.
The bench directed authorities to pay Rs two lakh to the family of the deceased from out of the Victim Compensation Fund within four months.
A women’s court had pronounced all the three guilty and sentenced them to life for murdering the woman, employed with Tata Consultancy Services, who went missing on February 13, 2014. The woman’s decomposed body was found at the SIPCOT IT Park in Siruseri, nine days later.
The investigation into the case was transferred to crime branch CID on the orders of the then chief minister Jayalalithaa and the three were arrested when they tried to use her ATM card.
At the time of the arrests, police had said the woman, walking on a footpath one km away from her IT park campus, was waylaid, dragged to a nearby bush and assaulted by the accused.
The murder brought to sharp focus safety issues concerning women IT employees, especially those leaving office during late hours, and prompted software companies to clamp preventive measures, including mandatory use of office vehicle for those working beyond 8pm.