Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government on Thursday turned down a request for the early release of a man convicted of killing a differently-abled woman after raping her.
The state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided not to grant premature release to the convict, Prakasan, from Kollam, an official release said here.
The cabinet decided that Prakasan did not deserve commutation, considering that he sexually exploited and killed a differently-abled woman while pretending to be her protector, it said.
Official sources said that Prakasan, an inmate of Nettukaltheri Open Jail, has been in prison for 18 years, seven months, and 16 days.
The cabinet's consideration was prompted by a directive from the Supreme Court, asking the convict's wife to approach the state government for sentence commutation.
The Supreme Court issued the direction, dismissing Prakasan's wife's plea seeking commutation of the sentence.
The apex court directed her to seek relief from the state government, leading to the thorough examination of the family's application by the Home Department.
Following the detailed examination, the chief minister referred the matter to the cabinet, which ultimately rejected the petition.
Sources also said that the cabinet considered a report provided by the Kollam district police chief, who mentioned that the relatives of the murdered woman still harbour animosity towards the convict.
If premature release is granted, the peaceful atmosphere of the area might be affected, and untoward incidents are likely to occur, it said.
The report further said that the prisoner's life would not be safe if released prematurely, and the relatives of the murdered woman have objected to the release, sources said.
The police did not recommend premature release, considering the fact that the convict has not yet paid the compensation amount of Rs 50,000 to the kin of the victim.
The Advisory Committee of Nettukaltheri Open Jail also opposed premature release, citing that granting early release to an accused who committed a serious crime would send a wrong message to society.
It suggested that the convict had not served enough time, considering the heinous nature of the crime and the physical weakness of the victim, sources added.
A source said that the government's position is to deny commutation to individuals convicted of raping and killing women and children.