Kottayam: The Principal Sessions Court here on Tuesday sentenced all the ten accused in the Kevin murder case to double life imprisonment. They are Syanu Chacko (first accused), Niyas Mon (2), Ishan Ismail (3), Riyas (4), Manu Muralidharan (6), Shifin Sajad(7), Nish-ad (8), Tittu Jerome(9), Fasal Shereef (11), and Shanu (12).
Judge C. Jayachandran sentenced them under section 302 of the IPC for murder and under section 364 A for abduction and bargaining. They were also fined Rs 25,000 and Rs 15,000 each under the two heads. In default, they have to undergo simple imprisonment for one year. The court awarded a total penalty of Rs 4,85,000 to the accused. Out of this, Rs 1 lakh should be given to Anish Sebastian, and the rest equally divided among Neenu Chacko and the father of Kevin Joseph.
The court also senten-ced the second, fourth, sixth, ninth, 11th and 12th accused to rigorous imprisonment for five years under section 449 of the IPC (trespass to commit an offence punishable with death) and a fine of Rs 5,000. In default, they must undergo jail for one month.
They were also awarded rigorous imprisonment for one year and a fine of Rs 5,000 under section 437 of the IPC for committing mischief.
The accused two, four, six, nine, 11 and 13 were awarded rigorous imprisonment for six months under section 342 of the IPC for wrongful restraint. Accused one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight, nine, 11 and 12 were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three years under section 506 part 2 of the IPC for criminal intimidation.
The accused 8 and 12 were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 6 months under section 323 of the IPC for causing hurt. The seventh accused was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three years and a fine of Rs 5000 under section 201 of the IPC for destruction of evidence.
The court had acquitted fifth accused and the father of Neenu, Chacko John, tenth accused Vishnu Alias Appunni, 13th accused Shinu and 14th accused Ramees last week. According to the judgment, the accused deserved capital punishment for honour killing as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
But in this case the court considered the young age of the accused and also the fact thatthere are no criminal antecedents against the accused. The court found that they wereamenable to change and hence were given a chance to reform.
Special Public Prosecutor prosecutor, CS Ajayan, expressed satisfaction over theverdict and said that there was nothing wrong in avoiding the capital punishment.
The defence lawyers said the accused should be given an opportunity to repent taking into account their ageand their antecedents.
Kevin’s father Josephtold reporters that at least a few of the accused should have beengiven capital punishment.
According to the prosecution, Kevin P. Joseph of Nattassery was abducted by a team of 13 persons from the house of Kevin’s relativeAnish at Mannanam on May 27 last year. His body was found in the Chaliakara river near Punalur the next day....