Kochi: CBI Special court here, on Thursday sentenced former IGP K Lakshamana, to life imprisonment in the Naxal Varghese murder case.
Yesterday, the court had convicted Lakshamana for the brutal killing of Varghese who was shot dead in the thiruvenlli forests 40 years ago. The accused was convicted under sect 302 read with Sect 34 of IPC.
CBI Special court judge, S Vijay Kumar also directed Lakshamana to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 which should be given to Varghese`s family.
The accused told the court that he was in his seventies and maximum leniency and humanitarian consideration should be given to him. He also made a plea to be sent to
Thiruvananthapuram central jail.
Public prosecutor, Vaikom Purshothamana Nair, urged the court to give the accused the maximum punishment of death penalty as this was the rarest of rare cases as a common man was branded as naxalite and taken to thirunelly forests and shot in cold blood with his hands tied.
Another accused in the case, former DGP P Vijayan, had been acquitted by the court yesterday giving him the benefit of doubt.
The court had yesterday observed that death of Varghese in police encounter was `an advance defence moulded as a pretext to commit the crime`.
`... No more evidence is needed, it is proved beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that Varghese who was caught hold of live was brutally killed by the first accused who was a stooge at the hands of Lakshamana who on his order brought about his plan`.
Lakshamana wife`s, who was present in the court along with her advocate daughter, broke into tears on hearing the verdict.
Lakshamana was also an accused in the infamous Rajan murder case, relating to the death of the Calicut Regional engineering college student who disappeared after being taken
into custody by police for suspected links with naxalites on March one, 1976. He was later acquitted in the case.
Varghese was gunned downed by police in cold blood in the thiruvenlli forests in Kerala`s wayanad district on Feb 18,1970 and it was described as `encounter` death.
Judge S Vijay Kumar said the first accused in the case, late CRPF constable P Ramachandran Nair had committed the act of murder on the command of Lakshmana, the second accused, who was then DySP.
Lakshamana will be taken to the Thiruvananthapuram central jail today after completing the formalities at the Ernakulam sub jail where he was lodged yesterday.