Kottayam (Kerala): The Kottayam principal sessions court in Kerala will announce the quantum of sentence to the 10 convicts in Dalit Christian Kevin P Joseph's murder on August 27. The court on Thursday had declared 10 accused including brother of Kevin's wife Neenu as convicts.

After hearing the arguments, principal sessions judge CS Jayachandran announced that the quantum of punishment to the convicts in the killing of Kevin will be heard on Tuesday (August 27).

On Thursday (August 22), the court had convicted 10 of the 14 accused in the case and declared it as honour killing. The convicts are 23-year-old victim Kevin's wife Neenu's relatives, including her brother who is also the prime accused Syaanu Chacko.

The prosecution sought maximum punishment to the convicts. However, the defence argued that it was not a case of honour killing and pleaded for maximum leniency as the accused was still young.

The defence counsel said that the convicted people had no other criminal background and their parents were dependent on them. One of the convicts reportedly broke down in the court room during the hearing.

The 10 accused were found guilty under section 302 (murder) and 364A (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, the court acquitted four accused citing lack of evidence, including Kevin's father-in-law.

Kevin and Neenu had got married at a registrar's office in Ettumanoor against the wishes of her family on May 25, 2018.

But Kevin was reported missing on May 27 and his body was found on May 28 last year in a stream in Chaliyakkara in Kollam district. Kevin's family including his wife Neenu had alleged that he died due to police laxity as they refused to conduct an investigation on the basis of his wife's missing complaint.

Trial had begun in April. Neenu was a witness against her parents and had stated before the court that her father had objected to the relationship as Joseph belonged to the Dalit Christian community.

(With inputs from PTI)