Chennai, June 11: The Madras High Court today commuted to life term the death sentence awarded to an accused in a double murder case. Partly allowing an appeal, a division bench, comprising Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice V.Bharathidasan, held that the case did not fall within the rarest of rare category. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case: Death Sentence Upheld as SC Rejects Review Plea; Convict Can File Mercy Plea, Says Bench

The matter related to the murder of two women by accused Rajiv Gandhi of Sungam village in Coimbatore district on February 11, 2012 over a dispute about land ownership. During the course of trial, one woman died. The trial court had awarded death sentence to Rajiv Gandhi on two counts, against which appeal he filed the present appeal. ALSO READ: Madras HC sets aside Puducherry collector’s order Also Read - '1984 Riots Could've Been Averted Had Rao Listened to Gujral,' Says Former PM Manmohan Singh

Passing orders on it, the bench said “we find it difficult to confirm the death sentence. But at the same time, killing of the two women is brutal and gruesome and the same cannot be tolerated by any man of ordinary prudence. “We are inclined to impose life sentence, however, with a direction that the accused shall not be entitled to any remission for a period of 20 years…,” the bench ruled. Also Read - Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case: HC Grants 30-day Parole to Life Convict Robert Payas for Son's Wedding