New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A sessions court in Kerala on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to the victim's husband in the Uthra murder case for killing his wife using the poison of the Cobra snake. Earlier on October 1, the court had held Sooraj S Kumar guilty of murder, poisoning, destruction of evidence and also attempt to murder for his first try at murdering his then-wife Uthra by using a viper.

Terming the case as the rarest of rare, Additional Sessions Judge-VI Manoj M, pronounced the verdict in the case but looking at the age of the convict -- 28 years now -- it decided to award him a life sentence instead of death, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) G Mohanraj said as quoted by PTI.

Besides life sentence for murdering his wife, Sooraj S Kumar has also been awarded a life sentence for an attempt to murder. The court has also awarded him 10 years of imprisonment for poisoning and seven years for destruction of evidence, the SPP further informed.

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. The court also said the two life terms awarded to Kumar would run concurrently. Moreover, the court has imposed a total fine of Rs 5.85 lakh on the convict.

Another reason cited by the court for not awarding death was the lack of criminal antecedents of the convict, the SPP said. After the sentence was pronounced, the victim's mother, as quoted by PTI, said that she was not satisfied with the decision as she had expected death would be awarded to the convict. Sooraj had killed his wife Uthra by letting a cobra bite her in her sleep in May last year.

On May 7, Uthara's mother discovered her body at their house in Anchal. The victim's mother said Uthara and Suraj had gone to their room after dinner. On May 7, Suraj, who was a late riser, woke up early and went out. When Uthara didn't wake up, her mother went to her room and found Uthara lying unconscious. The snake which was still in the room was killed by Uthara's parents when they returned home from the hospital after their daughter was declared dead.

On May 24, the police arrested Suraj and his associate Suresh, a professional snake catcher for hatching a conspiracy to use a snake to kill her. After the police began the probe, they exhumed the cobra carcass that was buried in a pit and sent the carcass for forensic examination. The probe also revealed that Suraj had apparently made several attempts earlier using snakes to kill Uthara.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan