As Kerala grapples to come to terms with the Supreme Court order that quashed death sentence for Govindachamy, convict in Soumya murder case, a blame game has started over the poor handling of the case.
Many pointed out that the biggest drawback in the state's handling of the case was removing advocate Suresan as the special prosecutor.
According to prosecution, Soumya was brutally raped and pushed off the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train by one-armed Govindachamy on February 1, 2011, a day before her engagement. She breathed her last on February 6, leaving a huge question mark over Kerala's conscience.
Suresan had earlier battled for Soumya's justice in the Kerala High Court and Thrissur Fast Track court, and on both instances, the judges agreed that the murderer deserved nothing less than the gallows. However, the Supreme Court had last week slammed the prosecution for not providing enough evidence to prove that Govindachamy was indeed the murderer.
And the final nail on the coffin was the top court verdict Thursday that quashed death sentence for Govindachamy.
Even Soumya's mother Sumathi blamed the prosecution for failing to convince the SC. "There was so much of evidence that proved Govindachamy's crime - DNA tests and the body fluids found on her body and so on. Our advocate didn't seem to know any of this,” a weeping Sumathi alleged.
LDF vs UDF
However, Kerala law minister A.K. Balan refuted Sumathi's charges and denied any fallout on the part of the prosecution.
"There is no witness who saw Govindchamy pushing Soumya off the train. The same arguments that were raised in Kerala courts were presented before the SC," he said.
The minister also said that his government had asked Suresan to help the prosecution in the case and that he didn't comply with the order.
However, Sureshan denied the charges and the said the prosecutor did not seek his help. He said there are evidence to prove that Soumya was indeed murdered by Govindachamy. Manorama News quoted Sureshan as saying the standing counsel of Supreme Court had contacted him only a day before considering the case.
Refusing to buy this statement from the LDF government, former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said that the Soumya was denied justice due to the serious lapses made by LDF government and its officials.
"The government wasn't careful while dealing with the case in SC and thereby wasted the hard work of the UDF," said Chandy, who was in power when the Soumya case was under trial in Kerala.
He also said that government did not ensure Suresan's help in the case.
Meanwhile, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who expressed shock at the SC verdict, said that the current lawyer was appointed by the previous UDF government.
It's saddening to note that our political leaders are not able to stand united to ensure justice for our fallen women. The effort of both the government and the opposition should be on the future course of action. Instead, we are presented with a slew of arguments and counter-arguments on who exactly is to be blamed for this verdict. None from the political machinery seems to hear the cries of Soumya's mother who has been pleading justice for her daughter for the past five years. When will the state wake up to her tears?