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Paul Muthoot murder case: Kerala HC sets aside life sentence of 8

Paul Muthoot was killed in a road rage related incident in Alappuzha in 2009 and a CBI court had sentenced them to life imprisonment in 2015.

south Updated: Sep 05, 2019 17:42 IST
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted eight persons who were sentenced to life term by a lower court for murdering young businessman Paul Muthoot George 10 years ago.
Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted eight persons who were sentenced to life term by a lower court for murdering young businessman Paul Muthoot George 10 years ago.(PTI photo)

The Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted eight persons who were sentenced to life term by a lower court for murdering young businessman Paul Muthoot George 10 years ago. He was 32.

Paul was killed in a road rage related incident in Alappuzha in 2009 and a CBI court had sentenced them to life imprisonment in 2015.

While setting aside the verdict the HC observed that evidence and witnesses in the case were not enough to prove the contention of the prosecution that the accused committed the crime. But Paul’s father M George Muthoot said he was upset with the verdict and will move the Supreme Court.

Paul was killed on Aug 21 under mysterious circumstances while travelling in a luxury car. There were two people with him, Om Prakash and Puthanpalam Rajesh, who were accused in many criminal cases. The case made headlines in the national media and names of some cine stars also cropped up.

Initially, the case was investigated by state crime branch but later it was handed over to the CBI after his father moved the High Court. The central agency took up the probe in 2010 and the CBI court sentenced nine accused to life term. The second accused in the case, Kari Satheesh did not move the high court questioning the verdict.

According to CBI charge-sheet, a road rage case resulted in a scuffle leading to the murder of Paul. Paul’s speeding vehicle had knocked down a two-wheeler near Alappuzha and sped off. The accused reportedly saw this and chased the vehicle and stopped it, it said. Later, a verbal altercation ensued and Paul was stabbed in the melee. The CBI also found that gang members were on their way to attack another person and they picked up a quarrel with Paul in between. After Paul was stabbed, two of his fellow travellers fled from the scene and were arrested after two weeks. Charged with destroying evidence, they were let off by the CBI court.

Paul belonged to Muthoot family, which is into private banking, hospitality and other businesses.

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