Kerala court sentences man to double life imprisonment for rape, murder of minor girl

A special court in Kerala on Wednesday convicted and sentenced a man to double life imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in 2020.

Ernakulam Special POCSO Court Judge K Soman directed that the convict Safar Shah shall remain in jail for the remainder of his natural life for the offence of raping and impregnating a minor girl, public prosecutor (PP) Bindu said.

The court sentenced him to life for each of the offences under section 5 (j)(ii) (of raping and impregnating a minor girl) of the POCSO Act and section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

It also sentenced him to 5 years jail term each for the offences of kidnapping the girl and destruction of evidence under the IPC and said he would serve these two punishments concurrently first and then his life imprisonment would commence, the PP said.

The court also imposed a fine of over Rs two lakh on the convict.

The prosecutor said that the victim was four-and-half-months pregnant when she was killed.

The court found Shah guilty of raping and impregnating the girl based on the DNA evidence and post mortem report which proved she was pregnant, and he was the father, the PP said.

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Shah was found guilty of murdering her based on circumstantial evidence, the lawyer said.

The victim was killed and her body dumped in a tea plantation at Vatattuparai in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, the PP said.

Safarshah, who works in an automobile service centre, was arrested in January 2020 for abducting, raping and killing the victim — a Plus Two student — and dumping her body in the tea plantation.

The PP told reporters that only after the postmortem was the victim’s pregnancy revealed.

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