Company boss gets life sentence for murder

A divisional bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday sentenced a manager of a plywood company in Perumbavoor to life in prison for the murder of the owner of the company and fined him ₹2 lakh. The accusation was that the defendant Rasheed, who was the manager of the plywood company owned by Noushad, rammed his car into the bicycle driven by the deceased, suspecting an illicit relationship between the owner and the wife of the accused. It took place on May 7, 2015 at 7:45 a.m., in Kayyanippadi in the panchayat of Rayamangalam. The accused had also stabbed Noushad after he fell on the road. The Muvattupuzha Supplementary Sessions Court had acquitted the defendant in 2019 on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Allowing appeals from the government and the wife of the deceased, the bench consisting of Judge K. Vinod Chandran and Judge C. Jayachandran concluded that the overt acts were committed with sufficient premeditation on the part of the accused. The court also disapproved of the session judge’s conduct in choosing to examine the knife used to stab, in open court, to determine if there was a visible bloodstain on it. The Regional Chemical Laboratory report was before the court. The judge was not a forensic expert in detecting bloodstains, if any, on a knife, the court observed. The court also ordered that the fine be paid to the wife and children of the deceased as compensation.