On 11th October 2021, Sooraj S. Kumar in the much-awaited judgement was found guilty by a Kerala Court for getting his wife bitten by a poisonous snake with an intention to kill her.
In this astounding criminal case a 25-year-old homemaker, Uthra on 7th May 2021 was found dead at her house from a snakebite. Initially, the death was determined to be caused by natural causes, however, her family suspected foul play in her death due to which they alleged that the death was caused due to greed as it would lead to her husband acquiring gold and property.
The deceased’s family was sceptical of the death as there were various instances of harassment against the victim for dowry by her husband and his family. The primary arguments of the victim’s family were that the snake could not have found its way into a closed air-conditioned room, especially as the floor was tiled.
It was discovered that nine weeks before this incident, the victim was attacked by a viper and this incident had taken place when she was recovering from the last attack.
In accordance with these attacks, a police investigation took place as a result of which a charge sheet of 1000 pages was filed which elaborately expressed the details of the conspiracy planned by her husband, who is the accused in this case.
As a result of the investigation, the husband along with another man, who helped him in getting access to the snakes were arrested. The other man who was arrested held that he did not know the reason behind the purchase which was made by the accused along with the information that the snakes were sold for a value of 1000 INR.
The accused eventually confessed to committing the crime and held that he had stored two snakes in a jar without giving them any food in order to kill his wife and he had the intention to murder her using the snakes during the interrogation.
Ultimately, after finding around 38 sovereigns of Uthra’s gold buried in a rubber estate behind their residence, the father, mother, and sister of the accused were also arrested.
The prosecutor Advocate G. Mohanraj was prepared with strong scientific and circumstantial evidence to prove the accused as guilty for the crime of murdering his wife.
A postmortem of the snake who bit the victim was conducted in order to affirm that it was the same snake that had attacked her, and a dummy trial was also held in order to recreate the incident which led to the death of Uthra.
The prosecutor had also involved a famous snake handler to examine the width of the fangs who testified that the snakebite which caused the death of the victim was not natural but had been induced.
The scientific evidence submitted before the court was collected with the help of a team comprising herpetologists, forensic experts, veterinary surgeons and officials from the Forest and Animal Husbandry departments.
The accused, in tight security, was brought to the Kollam Additional District and Sessions Court which was presided by Judge Manoj M, who held that in this unique case the husband, accused had thrown a starving cobra at his wife while she was sleeping as a result of which she died due to the induced snake bite and hence it would be considered murder.