Ameerul Islam sentenced to death for rape, murder of Dalit law student near Perumbavoor

On April 28, 2016, the victim's mother, after returning home from work around 8.30 p.m., found her 30-year-old daughter dead in their asbestos house by the side of a canal in Vattolipadi, near Perumbavoor.

December 14, 2017 11:32 am | Updated December 01, 2021 06:41 am IST - Kochi

 File photo of a protest demanding justice for the Dalit law student who was raped and murdered in April 2016.

File photo of a protest demanding justice for the Dalit law student who was raped and murdered in April 2016.

Ameerul Islam, a migrant worker from Assam, was on Thursday sentenced to death by the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court for raping and murdering a Dalit law student near Perumbavoor town in Kochi last year.

The court on Tuesday found Ameerul guilty of offences under sections 376 (Rape), section 302 (Murder), Section 376 A (causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim), Section 342 (wrongful confinement) and section 449(house trespass) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court, while sentencing Ameerul to life imprisonment and a fine of ₹25,000 under section 376 A of IPC, also awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹25,000 under section 376 of the IPC. He has also been awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and one-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹50,000 and ₹1,000 under sections 449 and 342 of IPC respectively.

The sentences will be run concurrently and the death sentence is subject to confirmation by the High Court.

 Ameerul Islam

Ameerul Islam

 

The court, while finding the accused guilty, had earlier observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 as the accused had no requisite knowledge about the caste identity of the survivor. The court also found him not guilty of destruction of evidence under Section 201 of the IPC, in the absence of concrete evidence against him.

Akin to Nirbhaya case

During the hearing on the sentence, the prosecution had sought maximum punishment for Ameerul, arguing that it came under the rarest of rare category of murder cases. The prosecution, while seeking capital punishment, pointed out that the act of the accused was akin to the Nirbhaya case of Delhi in terms of the brutality.

Counsel for the accused had argued that mitigating factors had to be taken into account while awarding the sentence. Unlike in the Nirbhaya case in which there was an eyewitness, there was no such eyewitness in this case. In fact,the case was solely based on circumstantial and scientific evidences. Besides, Ameerul was a migrant labourer who didn't know Malayalam.

On April 28, 2016, the victim's mother, after returning home from work around 8.30 p.m., found her 30-year-old daughter dead in their asbestos house by the side of a canal in Vattolipadi, near Perumbavoor.

Accepting the prosecution's argument that Ameerul forcefully entered the house and committed the rape and murder between 5.30 p.m. and 6 p.m., the judge noted that during the trial, the accused had not offered any reasonable explanation warranting his presence at the crime scene.

Ameerul, who left Perumbavoor a day after the murder, was arrested by the police at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu on June 16, 50 days after the gruesome incident.

The prosecution had examined 100 witnesses , including 15 migrant labourers after the trial started in April last. It had also presented 290 documents and 36 material evidences.

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