Double murder: HC sets aside lower court order, acquits four

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CITYDouble murder: HC sets aside lower court order, acquits four
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Dec 16, 2019, 4:31 IST






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Madurai: Setting aside the order of a lower court, the Madras high court acquitted four people in a double murder case, citing that motive without proof is not enough to convict the accused.
The prosecution had contended that Rajendran, Muthallagu, Nadarajan and Murthy alias Ponniyamorthy had murdered E Durairaj’s sons owing to previous enmity as the latter had informed revenue officials about their illegal sand mining activity. There was also a civil dispute between them with regard to a temple festival.


The prosecution had alleged that Durairaj’s sons were murdered by the four on October 4, 2013 when they went to a location on receiving information about illegal sand mining. The Mathur police station in Pudukkottai district had investigated the case. The Pudukkottai additional district and sessions court had sentenced the four to life imprisonment on December 12, 2017. The accused moved the Madurai bench in 2018 challenging the order.
A division bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice N Anand Venkatesh observed that motive is important as the prosecution tried to prove the case through circumstantial evidence.
The judges observed that the prosecution relied on one of the most important circumstance, a phone call received by a witness from Murthy giving information on sand mining, based on which the deceased persons went to the spot. The judges cited that if there was a phone call, the same could have been easily proved from the call details and that has not been done in this case.
“There are wide gaps in every link in the chain of circumstances. The circumstances relied upon by the prosecution does not lead to the hypothesis that it is these accused who had committed the murder. Unfortunately, howsoever strong the suspicion is, the same cannot take the place of proof which is very essential to convict and sentence the accused,” observed the judges.

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CITYMadurai architect’s Climate responsive Chettiyar house lauded
Vivanesh Parthiban | Dec 16, 2019, 0:01 IST






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The Jaali encased facade of the building
Vignesh Sekar, a twenty-six-year-old architect, and his team turned heads of many including music director A.R Rahman towards Madurai for building a climate responsive Chettiyar house that reduces six-degree room temperature.


Breaking Away from Traditional Chettinad style innovatively

Vignesh built the house for one of his clients at Thirupattur, 65 km away from Madurai; it was completed last November. The 4000 square feet house was designed so as to include all the features of a Chettiyar house but also modern architecture on the demand of the client, but we made it possible and alluring with low-cost techniques and innovative ideas says Vignesh. The features that are borrowed from a Chettiyar house include Thinnai (front yard in Chettiyar house for guests) and private bedrooms from the main courtyard. “We wanted to break the style of having the kitchen near the backyard- this was done to segregate women from the main living area, but we designed an open kitchen near the main courtyard so that the whole family can interact and have a chat while the women cook,” informs Vignesh.

Letting in natural light and temperature control
The facade of the building with descending opacity in the door- created with help of Jallis and the skylights on the first-floor ceiling allow natural ventilation and minimize use of electricity while the whole house has only four fans. The filler slab technique which uses customized Terracotta clay pots placed in the skylight roofing stems the increase of temperature as the day progresses and the sun grows harsher – there are 16 skylights in the house. Even during the monsoon, the terracotta pots absorbs the moisture and will help the resident feel warm and cozy. The yoga hall is designed so as to get illuminated by the natural light from the skylights. As the plot of the house is east-facing, Vignesh has installed a terracotta jalli (net) near the eastern entrance to let in natural light. To add to the green quotient of the building, a vertical green wall has been erected near the Puja hall and at the entrance. In addition, the trees which were cleared in construction are used in shuttering.


We sourced everything locally
As a cost-cutting measure, Vignesh and his team has sourced maximum raw materials from the nearby areas- within 100 kilometers. We have used customised Athangudi tiles manufactured by traditional artisans in Athangudi, 10km from Thiruppathur. These tiles are replicated by many industries outside Tamil Nadu which are much costlier but people are still unaware of the best things near us which are much cheaper says Vignesh. As much as natural stones and dyes are used. Dolomite mixed with grey cement and white cement and waterproofing agent is used as a plaster, this technique is called glass plaster technique. A lotus pond is made at the entrance was requirement of the client. Two more things that attributed to our success is every labour who are locally sourced understood our requirements, and second, cooperation of the client. If there was a mistake while we are trying something new, he never lost it and stood by us adds Vignesh.
The structural part of the building was designed by Vignesh’s father, M.Sekar.”We are elated that one of our initial projects gets a big response and we feel more responsible in upcoming projects. In the last one week, we are getting a call every ten minutes as our achievement was tweeted by A.R Rahman – we can never thank him enough,” said Vignesh who studied Architecture in Madurai Thiagarajar College of Architecture.
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