Kerala government files Soumya murder case review petition in Supreme Court

Soumya’s mother had earlier filed a review petition against the SC order commuting the convict’s death sentence to life imprisonment.
Kerala government files Soumya murder case review petition in Supreme Court
Kerala government files Soumya murder case review petition in Supreme Court
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The Kerala government on Friday filed a review petition with the Supreme Court in the infamous Soumya murder case, seeking capital punishment for the accused. 

The apex court had on September 15 commuted the death sentence of the convict Govindachamy awarded by the Kerala High court to life imprisonment.

The murder charge was dismissed by the Supreme Court citing lack of concrete evidence and life imprisonment was awarded based on charges of rape alone. The review petition was filed before a bench presided by Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Sumathi –Soumya’s mother- too had filed a review petition before the court on Thursday seeking to reverse the life sentence handed to the convict to that of capital punishment.

Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi will reportedly appear for the state government when the review petition comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court. Reports say Rohtagi will request for an open hearing of the case.

Kerala Law Minister A K Balan had earlier met the Attorney General in Delhi and the latter had expressed his readiness to appear for the state. The affidavit filed by the government terms the Supreme Court verdict as a deeply flawed one.

In the review petition, the prosecution’s main argument would focus on the injuries found on Sowmya’s body that were caused by the convict and which led to her death.

This is to counter the observation made by the court which was not convinced that all the injuries found on the victim’s body were the handiwork of the convict, thereby finding him not guilty under IPC section 302(that deals with murder).

Twenty-three-year-old Soumya -who worked as a salesgirl- was returning home by the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011. 

One-handed Govindachamy -who routinely frequented trains to beg- entered the ladies’ compartment where she was, robbed and attacked her. A comatose Soumya was later found in the forests by the Railway police near the Vallathol railway station.

She later succumbed to her injuries at the Government Medical College in Thrissur on February 6, 2011.

The prosecution’s case was that Govindachamy pushed her off the train, took her to the wooded area, and then raped and murdered her.

Govindachamy, then 30, was convicted of rape and murder on October 31, 2011, and sentenced in November by a Thrissur fast-track court. 

The court ruled that the case was fit to be called as the rarest of rare and pronounced capital punishment. Subsequent appeals in the Kerala High Court also upheld that Govindachamy had raped and murdered her.

The Supreme Court, however, held that the prosecution could not prove whether Govindachamy had pushed her off the train or whether she fell off. 

Hence, it held that he was not guilty of murder, and his sentence was commuted to life sentence.

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