October 14, 2021 1:40:39 am
OBSERVING THAT the crime was “definitely diabolic, cruel, heinous and dastardly,” a Kollam court on Wednesday sentenced a man to 17-year rigorous imprisonment followed by two life terms – which would run concurrently – for sedating his wife and killing her using a cobra bite.
According to the prosecution, the accused, Sooraj S Kumar, had married Uthra, a person with disability, on March 25, 2018 with the objective of certain financial gains.
However, after the birth of their child, Sooraj gradually grew frustrated with Uthra’s mental and physical disability and conspired to kill her.
The incident that claimed Uthra’s life on May 6 last year was Sooraj’s third attempt at murder, according to the prosecution.
Sooraj, a native of Adoor in Pathanamthitta, made a cobra bite his wife while she was asleep at her house at Anchal in Kollam.
According to the prosecution, Sooraj had on March 2, 2020, attempted to kill Uthra through a viper’s bite but she was rescued despite delay in medical help.
The first attempt was aborted and Sooraj had then tried to present it as a “serpentine curse”.
The court observed that the accused was able to take his in-laws into confidence after the first attempt of murder was unsuccessful.
Sooraj obtained a snake from a snake-handler named Suresh Kumar, who was arraigned as the second accused but later made an approver.
As part of the probe, police exhumed the cobra and conducted an autopsy to confirm that the same snake had bit Uthra.
Besides, a dummy experiment was also held using a cobra to establish the case against the accused.
In the verdict on Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge M Manoj said Sooraj should pay a fine of Rs 5.85 lakh which should be divided equally and paid as compensation to Uthra’s parents.
Regarding the rehabilitation of the boy, the court said it is a fit case for a recommendation to the Kollam district legal services authority for payment of compensation under section 357 A of CrPC.
On Monday, the court had found Sooraj guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 328 (causing hurt by poison) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence).
The court awarded two terms of life imprisonment for offences under IPC Sections 302 and 307. The 17-year term was awarded for offences under IPC Sections 328 and 201.
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