THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A local court here sentenced two accused in a 17-year-old murder case to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3 lakh on Thursday.
The convicts, Vijayan Nair, 45, of Vattiyoorkavu, and Vijayakumar, 44, of Sreevaraham, were accused of killing Pallichal native Shyamala, 45, who was working at a construction company at Pattoor, on June 25, 2001.
Thiruvananthapuram additional district and sessions judge P. N. Seetha imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh, besides life in prison, on murder charges while awarding ten-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 for conspiracy and seven years and Rs 50,000 for tampering with evidence. The court ordered to give Rs 2 lakh to the dependents of the deceased.
On a plea of public prosecutor M. Salahuddin who appeared for the prosecution, the court also directed district legal services authority to consider the dependents for the victim's compensation scheme.
Vijayan Nair was an autorickshaw driver engaged by the construction firm for dropping workers at bus stands after night shifts and Vijayakumar, a real estate agent.
The latter allegedly had an illicit relationship with a couple of workers at the firm, which Shyamala reported to the company officials. To settle scores for this, the two, who were friends, took her to a workshop near AKG Centre and assaulted. She fainted following a head injury.
Later they abandoned her on the Vanchiyoor - Pattoor road. The police patrol team took her to a hospital, but her life could not be saved.
Mr Salahudeen said that a mismatch in the sand found on her body and at the spot where she was found lying was a crucial piece of evidence in the case.
Head constable Kasim Kannu of the police patrolling team had noticed it. A crime branch team probed the case.