A Kerala court on Thursday awarded death sentence to Goa-based civil contractor KC Hamsa in the sensational case of murder of 14-year-old domestic help Safia more than eight years ago, while it sent his wife and an aide to jail.

The Kasargod district sessions court, which had pronounced Hamsa (52), his wife Maimoona (46) and helper M Abdulla (48) guilty in the case under different charges on Tuesday, sentenced the prime accused to death terming it as a "rarest of the rare case".

Apart from Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (murder), Hamsa was also held guilty under IPC Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 361 (kidnapping from lawful guardianship).

Hamsa's wife was awarded a six-year jail term under IPC Sections 201 and 361 and for violating child labour law, while Abdulla was given three years in prison for hiding information.

The court also ordered Hamsa to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh, out of which Rs 8 lakh will be given to Safia's parents--Moidu and Ayesha. Maimoona was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 5,000, while a penalty of Rs 3,000 was imposed on Abdulla.

14-year-old chopped to pieces alive

Hamsa had taken Safia, a native of Ayyankeri in Karnataka's Coorg, to Kasargod and then to Goa as a domestic help. On 15 December 2006, he killed the girl and chopped the body into three pieces before burying it at a dam construction site in Mollem, Goa.

After the local police failed to solve the case, a team of Crime Branch cracked it finding some vital clues using scientific evidence as there were no eye witnesses.

Interestingly, the prime accused himself approached the police in Kasargod district along with the girl's father, Moidu, to register a complaint about the victim being missing.

In course of investigation, the officers recovered Safia's skull and clothes and it was found that the 14-year-old was chopped into pieces while she was still alive.