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In a significant verdict, the Kerala High Court has declined to uphold the death sentence imposed on Nino Mathew for the double murder of his accomplice and lover Anu Shanthi’s three-year-old daughter and mother-in-law. The Division Bench, comprising Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar and Justice Johnson John, has instead converted Mathew’s sentence to life imprisonment, with a strict condition that he will not be eligible for remission for a period of 25 years. Additionally, the Court dismissed the appeal filed by Anu Shanthi and upheld the life sentence imposed on her by the Sessions Court.

The ruling comes after Mathew and Shanthi were convicted by the Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram for the grave offense of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The case revolved around the tragic events of April 2014, where the duo conspired and executed the murders of Shanthi’s daughter and mother-in-law. The relationship between Mathew and Shanthi had developed while they were employed together at an IT company in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram.

The appeals filed by Mathew and Shanthi against their convictions, as well as Mathew’s death sentence reference, were under consideration by the Kerala High Court. Following thorough deliberation, the Division Bench opted to commute Mathew’s death sentence to life imprisonment, citing mitigating circumstances. Notably, Project 39 A of the National University of Delhi conducted a mitigation investigation as per the court’s orders, contributing to the decision to refrain from imposing the death penalty on Mathew.

The verdict marks a significant development in the legal proceedings surrounding this tragic case, offering some closure to the families affected by the heinous crimes while underlining the complexities involved in sentencing in cases of this nature.

Case Title: State of Kerala v Nino Mathew, Anu Shanthi v State of Kerala, Nino Mathew v State of Kerala

Written by- Pradyumn sharma.

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