The additional sessions court in Kottayam yesterday (13 March) accepted the police’s chargesheet in the Kevin P Joseph killing case, and framed murder charges against 14 accused persons, reports TOI.
According to the chargesheet, the attack on Joseph was an honour killing; it has termed his death as an instance of homicidal drowning with an intention to kill.
While Joseph belonged to a poor Christian family, deemed ‘Dalit’, from Nattesseri in Kottayam, the girl’s father is a Latin Catholic. The duo had registered their wedding two days before former was abducted.
A total of 11 charges have been levelled against the accused persons, including the charge of conspiracy. The defence counsel had asked the court to not consider framing murder charges, contending that there was no evidence of an intentional killing. This argument was rejected by the court, which has decided to hear the matter on 20 March, when the date of the final trial will also be scheduled.
Joseph, along with his relative Aneesh, was abducted on 27 May 2018 by a group headed by Shanu Chacko. The ostensible cause for the kidnapping-cum-murder is believed to be Joseph moving official papers in a bid to marry Chacko’s sister Neenu.
Joseph’s dead body was later discovered in a canal close to Thenmala on 28 May.
The case saw a twist when the girl’s father, himself an accused in the case, moved the court to shift the daughter to a shelter home, as she was living with the deceased boy’s parents. He had cited the daughter’s ‘mental health issues’ as the reason.