KOTTAYAM: Kevin’s murder is a case of honour killing, the Kottayam Additional Sessions Court said on Wednesday. The ruling came during the hearing of special prosecutor C S Ajayan’s petition seeking to consider Kevin’s murder as an honour killing.
The ruling paves the way for expediting the trial, since as per a Supreme Court ruling, honour killing cases should be tried within six months.Ajayan said the prosecution filed a petition based on the Supreme Court ruling on March 27, 2018, in the Shakti Vahini vs Union of India case.
The apex court ruling in the case stated that criminal cases pertaining to honour killing or violence to the couple(s) shall be tried before the designated court or fast track court earmarked for that purpose. The trial must proceed on a day-to-day basis to be concluded preferably within six months from the date of taking cognizance of the offence.
The apex court ruling also stated that the directive should apply even to pending cases. The district judge concerned shall assign those cases, as far as possible, to one jurisdictional court so as to ensure expeditious disposal of the case. The charge-sheet says that Kevin P Joseph, a Dalit-Christian from Kottayam, was kidnapped and murdered by a gang led by Sanu Chacko, brother of Kevin’s fiancee Neenu Chacko. Sanu is the prime accused while his father Chacko is the fifth accused.
Kevin had met Neenu while she was studying at a college in Kottayam. Two days before the murder, the two of them had filed a joint application for marriage.L ater, Kevin, with the help of Aneesh, sent her to a hostel in the wake of the threat from Neenu’s relatives. A quotation team abducted them from the house, where Kevin and Aneesh were staying. While Kevin escaped from their clutches when the gang reached Punaloor, Aneesh was later let off. Later, Kevin was found dead in a deserted place at Chaliyekkara.