Two days after the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court found 24-year-old Ameerul Islam guilty of brutally raping and murdering Dalit law student Jisha in 2016, the court sentenced him to capital punishment on Thursday.
Ameerul has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 under Sec 449 (house-trespass), one year in prison and Rs 1,000 fine under Section 342 (wrongful confinement), 10 years imprisonment and Rs 15,000 fine under Section 376 (rape), life imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fine under Section 376 (a) (causing death/resulting in persistent vegetative state) and the death penalty and a fine of Rs 25,000 under Section 302 (Murder).
The court said that the substantive sentence of imprisonment ordered shall run concurrently.
Following the sentencing, Ameerul will be shifted from Kakkanad sub-jail to Viyyur jail in Thrissur.
The sentence was pronounced a day after the prosecution and Ameerul's lawyer BA Aloor argued on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to the convict. The arguments began at 11 am on Wednesday, with Ameerul's lawyer BA Aloor submitting a petition for reinvestigation. Citing that Ameerul was not a Malayali, Aloor said that Ameerul could not follow what the police officers were telling him and that a reinvestigation by a central agency.
However, the court dismissed the petition.
The court was supposed to pronounce the sentence on Wednesday, but adjourned to Thursday after arguments over the quantum of sentence were completed.
Public prosecutor NK Unnikrishnan argued that Ameerul must be given the maximum punishment, considering the nature in which he committed the crime. The prosecution argued that Ameerul must be awarded death sentence, since the injuries he inflicted on Jisha were gruesome. A normal person cannot inflict such injuries, the prosecution argued.
The lawyer said that the government and the police must document the migrant labourers population in Kerala and provide them with identity cards.
Saying that the state was spending money on the accused more than the victim's family, the lawyer said that Jisha's family needs to be compensated.
ADGP Sandhya, who headed the investigating team in the case, told media persons after the sentencing, "Police and prosecution worked hard in this case and we had expected a favourable verdict. We accept the court's decision and feel proud."
"From our side, we worked 100% in a professional manner," she added.
Describing the Jisha case as one that shook the conscience of the state, Public Prosecutor Unnikrishnan told the media, "The society had wished that Ameerul get death penalty. That has come true now."
"Police investigated the case well and could collect scientific evidence to bring the accused to books. I am honoured that I could be a part of bringing the accused before the law," he added.
Following the sentence, Ameerul's lawyer BA Aloor said that the verdict will be appealed. â€śWe will go to the HC for further appeal. This court has acted like the prosecutionâ€™s mouth piece. The court has punished an innocent. This is a spineless act from the court. The courtâ€™s verdict has come from fear of public outrageâ€ť
Reacting emotionally to the sentence, Jisha's mother, Rajeshwari, told media persons, "No other mother in this world should go through this. If something like this happens in the future, they should be given capital punishment. We see the judge as god. I would like to thank everyone on behalf of the aatma of my daughter."
Jisha's sister Deepa meanwhile, said, "We have been in pain for over a year now. I have desired this death sentence (for Ameerul) for a long time now."