Prosecution opposes bail to orphanage functionaries

The Principal District and Sessions Court here will pronounce its verdict on Friday on the anticipatory bail pleas of five functionaries of an orphanage in the case of an Arab marrying a minor Muslim girl and later divorcing her.

The case related to United Arab Emirates (UAE) national Jasem Mohammed Abdul Karim Abdulahmed, 28, marrying a 17-year-old girl, who was residing at the city-based orphanage on June 13. He left the country on July 1 and later divorced her through triple talaq over the phone.

Judge V. Bhaskaran on Wednesday heard the arguments of the prosecution and defence sides represented by public prosecutor Alikoya Kadalundi and M. Ashokan respectively.

The prosecution argued that the marriage of the minor girl from Malappuram had taken place with the connivance of the orphanage functionaries and hence they should not be given bail.

Mr. Ashokan countered that the girl had attained 18 years of age as per documents with the orphanage. When the mother of the girl brought her to the orphanage, she was six years old and that she had studied there for 12 years. The issue generated a controversy only because of the divorce, he said.

The orphanage functionaries who had approached the court seeking bail were P.N. Hamsa Koya (chairman), P.T. Mohammed Ali (secretary), P.V. Mamu Koya (coordinator), and Yahiya Khader and P.M. Khalid (members). They had been arraigned as accused in the case and all of them were absconding.

The court also posted the case to Friday for orders on the bail applications of three persons already arrested in the case. They were Sulaika, 42, mother of Jasem, her second husband, C. Muneer, 38, and Abu Shahabas, 27, a cousin of Jasem. All of them had been remanded in judicial custody to the district jail.

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