Katju added that a head injury was grave enough to cause the death of a person.

SC wrong in saying Govindachamy did not commit murder Former SC judge Katju
news Soumya case Friday, September 16, 2016 - 13:22

Hours after the Supreme Court verdict on Soumya case commuting the death sentence of convict Govindachamy, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju said that the apex court has erred in not holding him guilty of murder.

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Kerala High Court verdict holding the convict guilty of rape, awarding him a life term. However, observing that the prosecution had failed to prove the charge of murder, the court acquitted him of the offense of murder and charged him under section 325. 

Simple explainer: Soumya case: Why the SC was unconvinced that Govindachamy murdered her

Saying that there is gross error in the apex court’s verdict acquitting Gocindachamy of murder charges and instead charging him under section 325 for causing grievious hurt, Katju pointed out that the evidence for doing so were "inadmissible." 

“In paragraph 15 of its judgment the Court observed that P.W. 4 and P.W. 40, who were travelling on a coach adjacent to the ladies compartment in which Soumya was travelling alone, said that they were told by a middle aged person in their compartment that Soumya had herself jumped off the train. But the evidence of P.W. 4 and 40 was hearsay, which is inadmissible in evidence. How could the Supreme Court have relied on it ? This is a gross error in the judgment,” he wrote on Facebook.

He said that the Supreme Court had ignored the Third part of Section 300 that states,

“it is a case of murder (for which capital punishment can be imposed under section 302) even if there was no intention to kill, if the accused inflicts a wound sufficient to cause the death of a person in the ordinary course of nature,” he said.

Elaborating on this, he wrote that the court had totally ignored Illustration (c) of section 300 that holds the accused guilty of murder although he may not have intended to cause death. 

Katju added that a head injury was grave enough to cause the death of a person.

"With respect to the Supreme Court it has totally ignored the Third part of section 300, and Illustration (c). (c) A intentionally gives Z a sword-cut or club-wound sufficient to cause the death of a man in the ordinary course of nature. Z dies in consequence. Here, A is guilty of murder, although he may not have intended to cause Z’s death. The head is a vital part of the body of a human, and repeated banging it against a wall is sufficient in the ordinary cause to cause death," he wrote.

Read the full status here:

23-year-old Soumya was attacked and brutally raped in January 2011, a few days after which she succumbed to her injuries. 

Also read: Govindachamy, the man who raped Kerala woman Soumya

Soumya's rapist, 'beggar' Govindachamy had an expensive lawyer who charged lakhs

SC commutes Govindachamy’s death sentence, gives life term in infamous Sowmya murder case in Kerala

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.