Kerala HC confirms Death Sentence on ‘rape-cum-murder in train’ case accused

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Tuesday confirmed the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy by a Fast Track Court for brutally raping and causing the death of a 23-year-old woman after pushing her out of a moving train on February 1, 2008.

A division bench, comprising justices T Ramachandran Nair and B Kemal Pasha upheld the death sentence awarded by the FTC at Thrissur in November that year, saying “there is absolutely nothing to interfere in this case.”

The bench also criticised the ‘lukewarm’ response of Indian Railways and the attitude of fellow passengers of the victim, who was returning home to Shornur from her workplace at Ernakulam, when the incident took place.

Pointing out there is no safety in ladies’ compartments. The bench said that even after the incident, the compartment was at the rear end of the train.

The judges suggested the ladies compartment be placed in the middle section and two women guards be posted.

The bench held that the attitude of the fellow passengers was ‘disgustful’. Had they offered a helping hand, this untoward incident could have been avoided.

It said there is need to create awareness among the public to rise to the occasion.Inaction of fellow passengers was more painful than the brutal action of the accused, the judges observed.

The prosecution case was that Gonvidachamy had pushed the victim out of the compartment of the Ernakulam-Shornoor passenger train on Feb 1 after first trying to rob her. He then raped the seriously injured woman, who died on Feb 6.

The prosecution also pointed out that Govindachamy, a native of Tamil Nadu, had already been convicted in eight cases in that state.

The FTC had held the brutal rape was one of the reasons for the victim’s death and that the nature of the crime was savage and had shocked society.

Mother hails verdict

Hailing the High Court verdict confirming the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy, Sumathi, mother of the deceased, said on Tuesday that she got justice from the High Court.

Talking to the media after hearing the verdict, she said she was quite happy with the judgment. She said she was grateful to the Special Public Prosecutor and others who stood by her in her fight for securing justice.

She said she got overwhelming support from all. She also welcomed the observation of the High Court that safety measures should be provided in the ladies compartment in trains. Just like her daughter, there were many women commuters employed faraway from their homes. So, Railways and the government should ensure safety of such women passengers travelling in the public transport system.

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