Dinakaran attack case: HC awards life sentence to 9 including Attack Pandi

Nine men found guilty in an attack on the offices of the Dinakaran newspaper in Madurai in 2007, killing three people, were sentenced to life by the Madras High Court on Thursday. Among those sentenced was VP Pandi, also known as 'Attack' Pandi, a supporter of the then DMK leader MK Alagiri. The court said the conclusions reached by the trial judge were palpably erroneous and suffered from manifest perversity. “It is unfortunate that the trial court has abdicated its judicial responsibility to seek the truth and deployed a specious line of reasoning to arrive at the verdict of acquittal.”

It convicted Deputy Superintendent of Police V. Rajaram, who had been included as an accused for failing to prevent the arsonists, under Section 217 of IPC (public servant disobeying the law to save person from punishment) and Section 221 (intentional omission to apprehend someone). The officer was asked to be present on March 25 to be heard on the quantum of sentence. Amongst those given life imprisonments are 'Attack' Pandi (the main accused), Arogya Prabhu, Vijaypandi, Kandasamy, Ramaiah Pandi, Sudhakar, Tirumurugan, Roopan and Malik Basha. The court has further ordered the Tamil Nadu government to offer a solatium of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the three persons - Vinod, Gopinath and Muthuramalingam- who were killed in the attack.