The SC had commuted Govindachamy’s death sentence to a life term, saying the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

Major setback for Kerala government SC rejects curative petition on Soumya murder case
news Law Friday, April 28, 2017 - 19:25

In a major setback to the Kerala government, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected the LDF government's curative petition on the Soumya rape and murder case. 

A six-member bench, comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Prafulla C Pant and UU Lalit, rejected the government's petition that was filed in January this year. 

"Having gone through the Curative Petitions and the relevant documents, in our considered opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs. Ashok Hurra & Anr., reported in 2002 (4) SCC 388. The Curative Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed," reads the order accessed by Live Law

Earlier in September, the apex court had set aside the Kerala High Court verdict that awarded the death sentence to accused Govindachamy for the rape and murder of 23-year-old Soumya on the Ernakulam-Shornur passenger train. The HC, in awarding the death sentence, had confirmed the verdict of a Thrissur fast-track court.

The SC commuted his death sentence to one of life imprisonment. The apex court had then said that the prosecution had failed to prove the murder charges. 

Two months later, the state government had filed a review petition, but the court had rejected it. The state government then proceeded to file a curative petition, arguing that the court had not given necessary consideration to its arguments.  

Six years ago, Soumya was travelling home from work in the ladies compartment of the Ernakulam-Shornur passenger train, when she was accosted by Govindachamy. A struggle ensued, during which Soumya fell out of the train. Govindachamy also jumped out of the train and took Soumya to a secluded place and raped her. Days later, Soumya succumbed to her injuries in a hospital. The case attained much significance for the gruesome manner in which Soumya was attacked. 

The prosecution argued that Govindachamy had pushed Soumya out of the moving train, and hence caused her death. The SC, however, said that it was not convinced that he had done so.


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