Kerala HC calls for mitigation investigation in Jisha, Attingal murder cases

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Kerala High Court (File photo) | Mathrubhumi

Kochi: In a significant development, the Kerala High Court has decided to re-examine the decision to award death penalty to the accused involved in the high-profile Jisha Murder Case and Attingal Twin-Murder Case. The High Court has declared the initiation of a mitigation investigation to examine various factors such as the social and financial background of the accused, as well as their mental state, among other relevant aspects. This mitigation investigation aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the circumstances surrounding the cases.

Additionally, the Prison Department is directed to submit a report regarding the conduct of the accused inside the prison. Based on these evaluations, the court will consider whether to commute the sentence. It is the first time in Kerala that the High Court has announced a mitigation investigation. The move from the High Court came in the wake of the Supreme Court directing the High Court to consider other background factors that affect death row prisoners.

Earlier, a ruling from Supreme Court pointed out that mitigation investigation should consider the background of the accused, their personal circumstances, mental health and age, among other things.

Jisha, a 29-year-old law student at the Ernakulam Government Law College, was found murdered on 28 April 2016 at her home in Perumbavoor. Later, police arrested an Assamese labourer, Ameer-ul-Islam, in connection with the case. The Ernakulam principal district and sessions court awarded death penalty.

The 2014 Attingal twin murder case is a tragic incident involving two techies, Nino Mathew and Anu Shanthi, who were involved in the murder of Anu's three-year-old daughter and mother-in-law. After the case was investigated and tried in court, the Thiruvananthapuram Principal Sessions Court found Anu guilty and awarded her double life imprisonment, while Nino Mathew was given a death sentence for his role in the murders.

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