New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday summoned former judge Markandey Katju for insinuating that the top court had “grievously erred” by not imposing death penalty on Govindachamy in the Soumya rape-murder case.
The top court has asked Katju to explain on November 11 how and where it went wrong in not imposing death sentence on Govindachamy. 23-year-old Soumya, an employee of a Kochi shopping mall, was assaulted by Govindachamy in an empty ladies’ coach of Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011.
She was allegedly pushed off from the slow-moving train, carried to a wooded area and subsequently raped. She succumbed to injuries at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thrissur, on February 6, 2011.
Govindachamy was awarded death sentence by a trial court and the order was upheld by Kerala high court on December 17, 2013.
However, the apex court acquitted him from the murder charge and convicted him only for committing rape. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment.
The apex court, in its verdict, had held that there was no intention on part of the accused to kill the victim. A day after the verdict, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, in a Facebook post, said, “The Supreme Court has grievously erred by law by not holding Govindachamy guilty of murder.”
Katju said it was “regrettable” that the court has not read Section 300 carefully. “The judgement needs to be reviewed in an open court hearing,” he said.