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NRI Laxman Rajamani, has been convicted at a retrial of murdering his wife, Chitralekha Ramakrishnan


New Zealand NRI Sentenced to life imprisonment of killing his wife


Auckland, July 25, 2008
Pawan Gupta

NRI Laxman Rajamani, 36, an accountant has been convicted at a retrial of murdering his wife, Chitralekha Ramakrishnan and been sentenced to life in prison. He smashed her head with a brick before slashing her throat in the kitchen, at their home in January, 2005.

The prosecution claimed that Rajamani, who was upset with his wife because she wanted to end their relationship. He admitted that he had killed his wife but said he was provoked into doing so and was guilty instead of manslaughter.

Justice Judith Potter said:

  • The court should not impose a heavier sentence than previously imposed unless good reason was shown.
  • After referring to written submissions by the crown and defence, he sentenced Rajamani to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole term of 12 years. Rajamani showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

The prosecution said that Rajamani's actions clearly met the threshold of murder and that the provocation defence did not apply.

In 2006, Laxman Rajamani:

  • Found guilty by a High Court jury but the Supreme Court last year quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial.
  • Told the court he was overcome with rage when his 32-year-old wife said she wanted a divorce and was moving in with a Pakistani colleague.
  • He appealed on the grounds that there was a miscarriage of justice when the judge proceeded with the trial with only 10 jurors, and that the judge had failed to properly sum up to the jury on the defence of provocation.
  • Also claimed that his counsel did not competently or properly question one of the Crown witnesses, and that the judge had improperly admitted hearsay evidence of the dead woman's statements and misdirected the jury as to the use of such statements.




Chitralekha Ramakrishnan, 32, was murdered by her husband in 2005