Kerala HC upholds death sentence in 2016 rape and murder of law student | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kerala HC upholds death sentence in 2016 rape and murder of law student

By, Kochi
May 21, 2024 08:32 AM IST

The Kerala high court on Monday upheld the death sentence given by a trial court to Muhammed Ameer ul-Islam, the lone convict in the 2016 rape and murder of a 30-year-old law student in Ernakulam district of the state

The Kerala high court on Monday upheld the death sentence given by a trial court to Muhammed Ameer ul-Islam, the lone convict in the 2016 rape and murder of a 30-year-old law student in Ernakulam district of the state.

Kerala HC upholds death sentence in 2016 rape and murder of law student
Kerala HC upholds death sentence in 2016 rape and murder of law student

The accused, then 22 years old and a migrant labourer from Assam, trespassed into the victim’s residence near Perumbavoor on April 28, 2016, and fled after raping and murdering her. The law student was found murdered at her residence where she lived with her mother. According to the police, the woman was raped and brutally assaulted using sharp-edged weapons before being murdered.

In 2017, the Ernakulam Principal Sessions court found Islam guilty under sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 449 (wrongful confinement), and 376A (causing death or resulting in a persistent vegetative state of the victim). He was awarded life imprisonment and a fine of 1 lakh. The convict, however, moved the high court challenging the verdict of the trial court.

Hearing the matter on Monday, a division bench comprising Justices PB Suresh Kumar and S Manu upheld the death sentence.

The HC observed, “It was a cold blooded murder without provocation, for the only sin committed by the victim was that she resisted the attempts of the accused to commit rape on her. As indicated, the crime committed is in the nature of extreme brutality, that shocks conscience of the society. The facts aforesaid, according to us, satisfy the crime test.”

The court said that the mitigating circumstances, presented by the accused’ counsel, are not sufficient to commute a death sentence to imprisonment for life.

“...according to us, in a case of this nature, the society would certainly approve the awarding of death sentence, especially since the victim was a young lady who was forced to live in a structure on the side of the public road, on account of her impoverished social background and the crime was one committed within the premises of her own shelter. Needless to say, the death sentence awarded to the accused is liable to be confirmed and we do so,” the order read.

Expressing satisfaction over the verdict, the victim’s mother said: “I am happy that the man who killed my daughter will be hanged to death. It has been so long since the incident. I had always lived for my daughter, but she’s gone.”

Islam, who had left Perumbavoor soon after committing the crime, was arrested from Kancheepuram in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, 50 days after he committed the gruesome crime. More than 100 police personnel questioned over 1,500 people in the case.

The Special Investigation Team that probed the case used DNA technology and verification of call record details to prove Islam’s role in the crime. Fingerprints of over 5,000 people were also examined by the SIT personnel, who went through over 2 million telephonic conversations before tracing Islam.

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