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Soumya murder case: Govt files review plea on SC verdict

Soumya murder case: Govt files review plea on SC verdict

New Delhi: The state government has filed a review petition against the recent Supreme Court verdict commuting the death sentence of the convict Govindachami in the controversial Soumya case.

As per reports, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi will appear for the state government and would request for an open court hearing in the case.

Earlier, state Law Minister A K Balan had met the Attorney General in Delhi who had expressed his readiness to conduct the case. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also spoken to Rohatgi over phone.

The 23-year-old Soumya was attacked, pushed out of a moving train and brutally raped on 1 February, 2011. She succumbed to injuries at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thrissur, on 6 February, 2011.

The apex court had dropped the murder charge against Govindachami and commuted his death penalty to seven years of jail while upholding the life imprisonment awarded by a trial court on charges of rape.

The AG will contend in the court to review the case under the ambit of section 302 of the IPC, as section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) had been invoked by the apex court which itself had recognised one among two major injuries on Soumya's body as a reason for her death.

The apex court had discharged Govindachami under section 302 (murder) of IPC, in which the maximum sentence is capital punishment, saying there was no intention on his part to kill the victim but only to sexually assault her by keeping her in a supine position. While dropping section 302 of IPC, a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi, P C Pant and U U Lalit held him guilty for the offence of causing grievous hurt under section 325 of the IPC and awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment which will run concurrently with the life sentence awarded to him.

A Thrissur fast-track court had awarded the lone accused, Govindachami death sentence, considering him a habitual offender. The decision was upheld by the Kerala High Court. However, the apex court, on a petition by the accused, commuted his death sentence.

(With PTI inputs)

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