Soumya murder case: AG Mukul Rohatgi to seek death for Govindachamy
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is expected to make an open mention early next week before Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C. Pant on the question of admitting the review petition, seeking death penalty for convict Govindachamy in the Soumya murder case. Mr Rohatgi is expected to approve the draft of the review petition in discussions with standing counsel Nishe Rajen Shonker and the petition is likely to be filed latest by Friday so that the AG could make his mention in the open court on Monday.
The main argument would focus on the fatal effect of the compound injury, caused by the convict banging Soumya’s head repeatedly on the compartment and subsequently the assailant forcing himself on her as she lay ‘lifeless’, bleeding by the railway track. The intention explicit or otherwise is corroborated by circumstances. The intent is in the act or series of actions, leading directly or indirectly to murder. In this case, the intention has been implicit as the rapist was least concerned about the aftermath of the crime.
He raped her brutally and fled the scene, unconcerned about her fate. The onus rested solely on the lone wolf. According to the prosecution, this attracts Section 300 of IPC: “Culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or- “If it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.”
IPC Section 302 deals with punishment: “Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” Usually justices in the apex court decide the admissibility of review petitions in their chamber, leaving no room for oral arguments. However, Mr Rohatgi’s mention of the case in the open court will convey the seriousness on two counts: that the case is presented by topmost legal adviser to the Central Government and that the case reflects a rare unanimity in Kerala.
CPM politburo member M.A. Baby's reservations on capital punishment are on the ideological plane because even Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan argues for capital punishment for Soumya's killer. "Soumya was our daughter", Mr Vijayan told the victim's mother, reassuring her when she met him in the Secretariat on Tuesday.
Soumya’s mother meets CM
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured the mother of Soumya that the government will ensure the maximum punishment to the convict Govindachamy. The advocate-general has been directed to take necessary steps in this regard, he said. Soumya’s mother Sumathi and brother Sumesh called on the chief minister here on Tuesday seeking justice for them. The family is also exploring the option of filing a separate review petition other than the one to be submitted by the government.
The chief minister briefed them about the steps being taken by the state for filing a review petition. The government would ensure that there was no lapse in the conduct of the case. "It is the need of the state to ensure the maximum punishment to the one who committed the heinous crime," he told the family.
Later, Mr. Vijayan told reporters that the attorney- general would appear for the case in the Supreme Court. "Our aim is to restore the death penalty awarded to the accused by the lower courts," he said.
Sumathi told reporters that she was happy with the assurance given by the government. “The meeting with the chief minister gives relief to our concerns. Though there were initial lapses in ensuring death penalty to the accused, we are hopeful of the measures being takenby the government now,” she said. Many ministers were also present at Sumathi's meeting with the chief minister. She and Sumesh also called on state police chief Loknath Behera and expressed their concerns over the alleged lapses in the probe. He also promised all steps to ensure justice to the family.