Chennai: In a significant ruling, the Madras High Court on Friday quashed criminal proceedings against a woman who had killer her father when he attempted to rape and murder her, holding her action was justified as the man's deed was "unbearable" and "intolerable violence".
Allowing a petition by the young woman, a second year BSc computer science student, seeking to quash the culpable homicide case against her, the court said what was attempted to be done to her was an unbearable and intolerable violence.
"The petitioner was justified in killing her father or otherwise, she would have fallen a victim of rape or in the effort would have lost her life," Justice S Nagamuthu said.
"I find that the petitioner had acted only in exercise of right of private defence to save her modesty and life," he said, noting she had done exactly what Mahatma Gandhi had said on self-protection of women about 80 years ago.
According to prosecution, the man had come home fully drunk and wanted his daughter to sexually satisfy him in May, 2011. As she resisted, her father tried to stab her with a knife. The woman grabbed a knife lying nearby and fatally stabbed him thrice.
The woman, whose mother died five years ago, immediately informed her brother over phone about the incident.
She was charged under Section 304(ii) IPC (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
The judge pointed out it was the prosecution case itself that the man, who was supposed to protect the modesty of his daughter, exhibited an animal behaviour and attempted to rape her at knife point and kill her.
Justice Nagamuthu said since the police report, statement of witnesses and documents did not make out an offence for trial, it would not be lawful to allow the trial to go on as it would only be a wasteful exercise.