Kochi: The Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court on Thursday sentenced Ameer-ul-Islam, a migrant labourer from Assam, to death for “brutally” raping and murdering Jisha, 30, a Dalit law student, at her house near Perumbavur in April last year. The court had on Tuesday found him guilty of offences under Sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 376A (causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 449 (house trespass).
Special Judge N. Anil Kumar, while terming the case as rarest of the rare, also awarded him life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000 for the offence under Section 376 A of IPC, 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fine under Section 376, seven years’ RI and Rs 15,000 fine for the offence under Section 449 and one-year RI and Rs 1,000 fine under Section 342.
The court clarified that the death sentence, handed out for enhancing the dignity of women, will be subject to confirmation of the High Court. Other sentences should be served concurrently. Defence counsel B.A. Aloor said he would appeal against the sentence in the High Court. The case pertains to the rape and murder of Jisha at her house at Vattolipadi, Iringo-lkkara, Perumbavur, on April 28, 2016. The semi-naked body of the woman was found lying in a pool of blood in her two-room asbestos house by the side of a canal when her mother returned from work around 8.30 pm.
In a case where there was no direct evidence, the court observed that the pieces of evidence, especially that obtained through DNA technology and call data records submitted by the prosecution, helped in finding the accused “guilty beyond reasonable doubt.” During the hearing on the sentence, the prosecution had demanded capital punishment to the convict, drawing parallel with the Nirbhaya case. “A 25-cm-long knife was inserted into her private parts causing fatal injuries to her internal organs. The barbaric act is similar to the Nirbhaya case. Her vagina being mutilated in itself shows the perversion of the convict. It is only natural that the judicial conscience be satisfied with capital punishment being awarded to the accused Ameerul Islam,” special public prosecutor N.K. Unnikrishnan said.
However, the counsel pointed out that there was no eyewitness in the case which is solely based on circumstantial and scientific evidence. According to the police case, Ameer-ul-Islam forcibly entered the house and committed the rape and murder between 5.30 pm and 6 pm that day. The Assamese native “stiffened” her movements and attacked her with a knife even as she was resisting his attempt to rape her tooth and nail. She finally succumbed to the injuries which included deep wounds at her genitalia.
The court trial lasted for 85 days during which the prosecution examined 100 witnesses, including 15 migrant labourers, after the trial started in April this year. The prosecution also presented 290 documents and 36 pieces of material evidence. Ameer was sent to the Viyyur central prison, Thrissur, where he will remain till he is given capital punishment or the sentence gets commuted or remitted by the appropriate authorities.