Kerala snakebite murder: Court awards double lifer to husband who killed wife
Kollam, Oct 13: Sooraj, who was found guilty of murdering his wife, 25-year-old Uthra, using a cobra has been awarded a double life by Kollam court on Wednesday.
Additional Sessions Judge-VI Manoj M, who pronounced the sentence, said the case was a rarest of the rare, but looking at the age of the convict 28 years now it decided to award him life sentence instead of death, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) G Mohanraj told reporters outside the court.
Besides life for murder, Kumar was also awarded life sentence for the offence of attempt to murder, 10 years for poisoning and seven years for destruction of evidence, the SPP said.
He also said that the court has specifically directed that the convict will first serve the sentences awarded for poisoning and destruction of evidence, total 17 years and thereafter, his life imprisonment will commence.
Reacting to the court's decision, state police chief Anil Kant said this was one of the rarest cases in which the accused has been found guilty on the basis of circumstantial evidence.
Hailing the police team investigated the case, he said it was one of the shining examples of how scientifically and professionally a murder case was investigated and detected.
"The case was a difficult one", he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
He said the investigation team worked very hard analysing forensic medicine, fibre data, DNA of the animal and other evidences to crack the case.
As per police, the incident took place on May 6, when the husband with a pre-planned motive, brought a cobra snake with him and threw it on his wife. The police said that Sooraj waited and watched the snake bite her twice. Then on May 7 morning, he got out of the room as usual and her mother found her unconscious.
Uthra was taken to the hospital where she was declared dead.
The woman's parents alleged foul play after she died of snakebite at her parents' home at Anchal in Kollam district.
She was first bitten by a snake on March 2 at her husband's home and was under treatment when another snake took her life. She was first bitten by a viper and then a cobra, and her husband Sooraj was present on both occasions.
The police also spoke about Sooraj's accomplice Santhosh and said that he had been involved in illegal trade of the reptiles and the forest department which has been informed will file a separate case.
The couple had been married for two years at the time of the murder.