Thiruvananthapuram: The Supreme Court verdict commuting the death sentence of the man in the Soumya rape and murder case after dropping the murder charge evoked sharp criticism on Thursday from Kerala government and her family and they said a review petition will be filed.
"This is not a just punishment at all and it is hard for the public in Kerala to digest it. It will cause anxiety in the minds of people who value humanity," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said while a sobbing mother of the victim described the verdict as "heart breaking".
He said the state government would at the earliest file a review petition. "We will ensure that the best legal experts are drafted in to ensure justice for Soumya's family," he said in a statement. He pointed out that the trial court and High Court had issued orders after examining all aspects very carefully.
Various types of evidence was examined, including that of forensic experts, which proved the guilt of Govindachamy, he said.
Law Minister A K Balan said people of the state were anxious and sad over the verdict delivered earlier in the day.
"It is very unfortunate. But I am not blaming the judges, " Balan said.
The Minister said that general perception of the people in Kerala was that "even if Govindachamy was hanged 100 times," it was not enough for the brutal crime he had committed.
A Fast Track Court in Thrissur had awarded death sentence to the accused, which was upheld by the Kerala High Court later, against which the convict had moved the Supreme Court.
The prosecution has said the incident took place when Soumya, an employee of a Kochi shopping mall, was travelling in a ladies coach on the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011 and was attacked and pushed off the slow-moving train by Govindachamy.
It had also said the man jumped off the train, carried the injured woman to a wooded area near the track at Vallathol Nagar and raped her. She succumbed to injuries at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thrissur, on February 6.
Senior CPI(M) leader V S Achuthanandan said the verdict was 'shocking' and 'unfortunate'.
"My daughter was done to death so cruelly. This is a heart breaking verdict," Sumathy, Saumya's mother, told reporters at her home at Shornur in Palakkad district.
Describing the verdict as the 'failure' of the state prosecutor to 'properly' represent the case in the Apex Court, Sumathy said she would not give up her fight to get justice for her daughter, who was the only breadwinner in her family and that she would file a revision petition.
"I will file a revision petition. I will continue to fight until I get justice. I will meet the Chief Minister and tell him my pain", a sobbing Sumathy said....