A sessions court on Monday sentenced a 31-year-old man, Narain Nair, to seven years imprisonment on charges of culpable homicide. Nair,
who had been found guilty of killing a labourer, Mota Sappgullu in 2008, however, begged the court to sentence him to life imprisonment arguing that he would be unable to find a means to earn his livelihood after release from prison. In fact, Nair was initially booked by the police for murder-a charge that carries life in jail-but later the court held him guilty on a lesser count.
Sappgullu's body was found in a Sewri godown by his brother, Ramchandra, on November 10, 2008. A watchman who was present at the crime scene told Ramchandra that he had seen Sappgullu and Nair having a heated argument a few hours earlier. The matter was reported to the police and Nair, who was working as a ragpicker at that time, was arrested the same day. He was booked for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
However, when the matter came up for trial, the motive for the murder was not clear from the evidence brought before the judge. Nair's charge was thus reduced to Section 304 of the IPC which deals with "culpable homicide not amounting to murder''. Public prosecutor D K Joshi examined Ramchandra as a witness to establish Nair's guilt and he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
It was after the sentencing that Nair said he would prefer to spend his entire life in jail as he feared, he would not find work when he was released after seven years.