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Kerala HC upholds conviction of 4 in gem dealer case

In 2014, a trial court in Thiruvananthapuram had awarded double life sentences for five people: Rakhil, Ragesh and Joseph, engineering students M Jithesh and Ajeesh, after finding them guilty.

August 12, 2020 / 09:48 PM IST

The Kerala High Court on August 12 upheld the double life-term awarded to four people in the killing of a gem dealer in Thiruvananthapuram in 2012. In 2014, a trial court in Thiruvananthapuram had awarded double life sentences for five people: Rakhil, Ragesh and Joseph, engineering students M Jithesh and Ajeesh, after finding them guilty.

Challenging the trial court verdict, the accused filed an appeal in the High Court. A Division Bench of the High Court acquitted one of them, Joseph from Kudak in Karnataka, for lack of evidence. Varma was smothered to death by the accused using chloroform in the house owned by his friend Haridas'' daughter at nearby Puthoorkonam on December 24, 2012.

Haridas was acquitted by the trial court. The prosecution case was that the accused had approached Varma under the guise of buying gem stones and escaped with the stones after killing him.

In its judgement, the Division Bench expressed reservations about police officers conducting press meetings in respect of criminal investigations, which the Bench and the media consider to be sensational. The court had said on many occasions holding press meetings would spoil the quality of evidence collected during the investigation.
PTI
first published: Aug 12, 2020 09:48 pm

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