The Ernakulam CBI Special Court on Tuesday awarded double life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 35,000 to Raghu Kumar of Irumbanam, an accused in the murder of Fr Job Chittilappally, 72, the then vicar of Our Lady of Grace (Varaprasada Matha) Catholic Church at Thuruthiparambu, near Chalakudy, on September 28, 2004.
Delivering the sentence, special judge S Vijaya Kumar said the sentences will run concurrently.
Chittilappally was found murdered on the verandah of the presbytery on the church compound with five deep wounds.
The case was initially investigated by the local police and the Crime Branch before being handed over to the CBI.
The accused was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and pay a fine of `10,000 under section 449 (House trespass to commit murder) and life imprisonment and a fine of `25,000 under section 302 (murder), but the sentences will run concurrently.
The court said that half of the fine amount should be paid to the Thuruthiparamu Edavaka church through its vicar for the purpose of studies, especially in matters of religious tolerance and secularism.
The prosecution submitted that hatred towards Christianity prompted the accused to commit the offence.An issue related to a temple led to the turn of events.