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Kerala High Court commutes contractor’s death penalty to life sentence

KC Hamsa was the first accused, for the brutal murder of 14-year-old Safiya, a maidservant who was working in his house.

Published: 30th August 2019 03:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2019 03:00 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court. (Photo| A Sanesh,EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The High Court on Thursday commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence awarded by the Kasaragod Sessions Court to a civil contractor, first accused, for the brutal murder of 14-year-old Safiya, a maidservant who was working in his house.

A Division Bench comprising Justice AM Shaffique and Justice N Anilkumar issued the order on an appeal filed by  KC Hamsa from Muliyar, Kasaragod, first accused in the case seeking to quash the death sentence awarded to him. 

The Bench observed that the accused did not have any criminal history. After coming to know about the girl’s injury, he was trying to hide it, probably to avoid any legal complication. “True that the action of the first accused is brutal. However, taking a cue from the Supreme Court judgments, we (the court) are of the opinion the death penalty need not be imposed on the first accused,” observed the bench.

On July 16, 2015, the Kasaragod Sessions Court awarded death sentence to Hamsa. His wife Maimoona, third accused, was awarded a three-year jail term under IPC Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and three years under 361 (kidnapping from lawful guardianship), while their aide M Abdulla, fourth accused, was sentenced to three years in prison for hiding information. Second accused Moidu Shaji and fifth accused assistant sub inspector P N Gopalakrishnan were acquitted.The High Court acquitted Maimoona and M Abdulla.

Safiya, daughter of Moidu and Ayesha of Ayyankeri in Kodagu district of Karnataka, was working as a domestic help at Hamsa’s house at Masthikkundu near Muliyar in Kasaragod. In December 2006, the family took Safiya to their house in Goa, from where she never returned. Hamsa told the parents that she went missing from their Masthikkundu house. Together with Safiya’s father Moidu, he filed a missing complaint with Adhur police, but the police never seriously probed the case. 



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