Thiruvananthapuram: First Additional Sessions Judge P. Somarajan on Tuesday sentenced a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) driver to life imprisonment for murder after the accused was found guilty of deliberately driving his bus over a physically challenged woman. The court also slapped a fine of Rs.50,000 on the accused, Balachandran of Mannanthala who was attached to the KSRTC Peroorkada bus depot.
The victim, Thankachi, 37, an employee of Government Ayurveda College, was killed in the incident that took place at 1.45 p.m. on April 25, 2006.
According to the prosecution, Thankachi alighted from the bus driven by Balachandran at Mukkola Junction. The woman was standing behind the bus to cross the road when the vehicle suddenly reversed, crushing the woman under the wheels.
The prosecution said Balachandran harboured a grudge against Thankachi. The prosecution examined 16 witnesses, including passengers who travelled on the same bus with Thankachi, and several local residents who witnessed the incident. It also presented 16 documents as incriminating evidence in the case.
One of the forensic findings in the case was that both the rear and front wheels of the bus had run over Thankachi when the vehicle suddenly reversed.
Prosecutors argued that the crucial forensic finding indicated that the incident was not an involuntary offence, as was the case in traffic accidents, but a deliberate and premeditated act on the part of the driver.