"There should be no more Soumyas," said a teary-eyed Sumathi.

Mother of Soumya heartbroken as SC rejects Kerala govt review petitionSoumya (left), Sumathi (Right)
news Soumya case Friday, November 11, 2016 - 17:44

Responding to the news of the Supreme Court on Friday rejecting Kerala government’s review petition in her daughter’s murder case, Soumya’s mother Sumathi told journalists that she was heartbroken.

The state government had filed the review petition, following the apex court’s verdict that set aside the death penalty awarded to convict Govindachamy for the brutal rape and murder of Soumya in February 2011. 

Though the SC upheld the lower court’s verdict on rape, it reduced the charge of murder to that of causing grievous hurt, as the prosecution failed to prove the said charge beyond doubt.

A teary-eyed Sumathi said: “I have been denied justice. The one who tortured my daughter should never see the light of the day. There should be no more Soumyas.” 

Saying that she was denied justice, despite a former judge trying his best to convince the bench to award death penalty to Govindachamy, Sumathi continued: “That retired judge also tried his best, but even that did not help. But I will no longer blame anyone. Everybody has been trying hard to get us justice." 

A bench comprising Justices UU Lalith, Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla Pant also served a Contempt of Court notice to former SC judge Markandey Katju for criticizing the court’s verdict through his Facebook posts. 

The bench reportedly asked Katju to leave the court. The retired Supreme Court judge had earlier been asked by the SC to appear before the bench. 

Kerala Law Minister AK Balan told Asianet News that the state government had been firm in insisting on maximum punishment for Govindachamy. 

"What I understand is that the SC is against giving death penalty. I checked a few other cases in this context. The SC has recently set aside six death penalties," AK Balan said. 

Speaking to the media, advocate Kaleeswar Raj opined that the chances of the court awarding death sentence in review petitions was grim. 

"Katju's stand in the case was irresponsible. His criticism of the Supreme Court was improper," he reiterated. 

Advocate Jayashankar however averred that Katju had the right to question the SC verdict: "Every Indian citizen has the right to question a SC verdict. Katju had put in many years of work in the Supreme Court. He has every right question the verdict. SC's reaction to Katju's criticism is ridiculous, even foolish.”

Defence lawyer BA Aloor expressed happiness over the SC's rejection of the review petition, and also praised the apex court for its ‘courageous’ decision against a former judge. 

"I agree with the SC's decision to issue contempt notice to Katju. The Supreme Court had earlier issued a warning that neither former judges nor advocates could speak in contempt of the court. Having been a judge, Katju cannot behave in such a manner after retirement. How can he demand that people accord him the same stature and respect even now? After retirement, he is nothing more than a common citizen. He does not enjoy any sort of immunity.”

 

Also read: Katju gets contempt notice for blog criticising judges, says 'not scared, do what you want'

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