5-year RI for convicted boat owner in Thattekad tragedy

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Kochi, Jul 26 (UNI) A lower court here today sentenced five years' rigorous imprisonment to P M Raju, the owner and driver of 'Shivaranjini' boat involved in the Thattekad tragedy, in which 18 people were drowned in February last year.

Additional Sessions Judge P D Sharangdharan, who had yesterday found Raju guilty under section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), also imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on him.

In case of default, Raju would have to undergo an additional one-and-a-half years of simple imprisonment, the court said.

It said while Raju deserved the maximum punishment of ten years' rigorous imprisonment, it had been revealed during the trial that he had actively participated in the rescue efforts following the incident. Thus, the court did not award him the maximum punishment.

The prosecution had alleged that the accused had permitted 61 people to ride on the boat, which had the permit to carry only six passengers.

Fifteen students and three teachers of St Antony's Upper Primary School, Elavoor, near Angamaly, had died when the country boat capsized in Thattekad Lake on February 20, last year.


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