A 22-year old man on death row, who did not appeal against his sentence by the trial court within the stipulated time, has moved the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai, seeking condonment of the delay on the ground that he was too shocked to act in the aftermath of the capital punishment awarded to him in a rape and murder case.
"I was so shocked that I could not take any follow up steps witnin the stipulated time. Like me, my parents too were in a state of shock and failed to take necessary steps in time. The delay was neither wilful nor inordinate and hence I seek the indulgence of this court to condone it," Selvam said in his appeal.
Justice R Regupathi and Justice R Subbiah admitted the appeal and ordred notice to the prosecution. The appeal was clubbed with proceedings referred to them by the trial court for mandatory ratification of the death sentence by the high court.
Selvam was convicted by a mahila court of rape and murder of a 10-year old girl at her residence in Jaihindpuram here on Oct 22, 2006. The victim was the daughter of his employer.
The convict said he realised the opportunity to defend his case through the appeal only on receiving summons from high court, which had taken cognisance on the basis of the matter having been referred to it by the trial court.
"Immediately, I requested the legal aid cell through the jail superintendent to appoint a lawyer to defend my case. My father also informed that he had engaged a counsel to file the appeal," he said.