Qatar's Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentence of two Indian expatriates who had been found guilty by lower courts of murdering a local lady at her Doha home in 2012.
However, the life imprisonment awarded to the third accused, also an Indian expatriate, has been reduced to 15 years in jail by the apex court.
Legal sources said the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence handed down by the trial court and later confirmed by the appeals court after it was presented with sound evidence to prove the involvement of the first and second accused in the crime.
According to the prosecution , Chelladurai Perumal, Alagappa Subramanium and Sivakumar Arasan , the first, second and third accused respectively in the case, killed the old Qatari lady while trying to burgle her house in the Salata Jadeed area some four years ago.
The third accused Sivakumar Arasan, who was also sentenced to death by the trial court, had got a reprieve from the Court of Appeals, which commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. The apex court has now further reduced his lifer to 15 years in jail.
The verdict of the Court of Appeals was delivered on May 30 last year. The lawyer of the convicts had moved the Supreme Court against the ruling of the Court of Appeals within the stipulated two-month period.
Giving the details of the case, a legal source said the trio used to work at a construction site near the house where the victim lived. She used to occasionally feed the men. On the fateful night, the men entered the house to steal valuables but were seen by the lady and her housemaid, who was the sole witness in the case .
The suspects were arrested a few days later, based on the clues provided by the housemaid . The maid recognised the trio during an identification parade and testified against them in the trial court.
Reacting to the judgement yesterday, Nizar Kochery, who represented the convicts at the apex court, said he was awaiting copies of the verdict to decide the future course of action. "One needs to wait a few days for receiving the copies of the judgement," he said.
The lawyer said the Indian embassy has been informed about the SC verdict .
An Indian embassy official said the mission has been updated about the case but refused to elaborate.
All the convicts come from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. While
Chelladurai, 45, is a native of Virudhanagar , Alagappa is reportedly from Pudukottai and Sivakumar from Salem, sources said.
A lawyer from India had arrived in Qatar last June to move the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals had upheld the death sentence of the defendants pronounced by the lower court. Suresh Kumar's trip was made possible by the monetary assistance provided by the government of Tamil Nadu.
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