Chief Judicial Magistrate R. R. Kamath on Wednesday heard a plea seeking exemption of presence during trial from two persons, a non-resident Indian businessman and an Egyptian-born U.K. citizen, accused of attacking a security officer and fellow passengers at the international airport here early this year.

Celine Wilfred, defence counsel for the accused, businessman “Madathil” Reghu and his partner Ahmed Muhammad Al Jalak, told the court that the accused were running businesses in Dubai and their presence was required for the smooth conduct of their enterprises. She told the court that the accused will be present in court whenever it required them to be.

Deputy Director of Prosecution V. Radhakrishnan Nair argued that the accused had behaved in a manner that lowered the prestige of the country. He said the suspects made derogatory comments about Indian citizens, particularly women, as a whole. Quoting relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, Mr. Nair argued that the presence of the accused was necessary in court while moving a petition for exemption of presence during trial. The CJM is scheduled to pass his orders on the plea on September 23.