The Supreme Court reduced the death penalty sentence given to convict Govindachamy in the Soumya murder case to a 14-year jail term on Thursday.
A three-member bench presided by Justice Ranjan Gogoi quashed the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy by the Thrissur fast track court that was later confirmed by Kerala High Court in 2013. The accused has been acquitted of charges under Section 302 of the IPC and will instead serve rigorous life imprisonment under Section 376.
"Insofar as the offence under Section 376 is concerned, it is reasonably clear to us that it has been proved. However, as far as the charge under Section 302 is concerned, it is mostly circumstantial, not proved beyond reasonable doubt," said the bench, reports barandbench.com.
Advocate BA Aloor appeared for Govindachamy, while Senior Advocate Thomas P Joseph appeared for the State of Kerala. The decision comes after the SC slammed the prosecution for not presenting enough evidence against Govindachamy.
The incident occurred on Feburary 1, 2011. Soumya, a 23-year-old woman from Manjakkad near Shornur, was travelling in the Kochi- Shornur passenger train. The prosecution's case was that Govindachamy had pushed Soumya out of the slow moving train after trying to rob her. He also jumped off and then allegedly hit her head with a stone and raped her. The victim succumbed to injuries at the Government Medical College, Thrissur on February 6.