Supreme Court quashes murder charge, spares Govindachamy from noose

Thursday, Sep 15, 2016,11:32 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Supreme Court today commuted the death sentence of Govindachamy, a convict in the brutal rape and murder case of 23-year-old Soumya, to seven-year jail term after dropping the murder charge against him.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, P C Pant and U U Lalit, however, upheld charges under section 376 (Punishment for rape), 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of IPC.

A division bench of the Kerala High Court, had on December 17, 2013, confirmed the death sentence awarded by the Thrissur fast track court to Govindachamy from Virudanagar in Tamil Nadu, the lone convict in the Soumya murder case.

According to the prosecution, the incident took place when Soumya, an employee of a Kochi shopping mall, was travelling in a ladies coach on the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011 and was attacked and pushed off from the slow-moving train by Govindachamy.

It had also said the man jumped off the train, carried the injured woman to a wooded area near the track at Vallathol Nagar and raped her.

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

The prosecution had also pointed out that Govindachamy had already been convicted in eight cases in his native state.

The fast track court, in 2012, awarded death sentence to the accused, considering him as a habitual offender and held that the brutal rape was one of the reasons for the victim’s death and that the nature of the crime was savage and had shocked the society.

The High Court had upheld the death sentence two years later, against which he moved the Supreme Court.