KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday suspended the verdict of the Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) sentencing six persons to five years rigorous imprisonment and penalty of Rs.18,000 each in a case relating to setting fire to a house during clashes between two communities at the seaside village of Marad in Kozhikode on January 3 and 4, 2002.
Justice M.L. Joseph Francis, while suspending the sentence, also granted bail to the accused on their executing a bond for Rs.25,000 with two solvent sureties to the like sum.
The prosecution cases was that the accused, Pradeeepan, Santosh, Prahaladan, Prabash, Renjith and Rejish, had attacked the house of Thalakalakathu Pathumma, with weapons and set her house on fire at 8 p.m. on January 3.
The sessions court directed them to pay Rs.1 lakh out of the penalty of Rs.18,000 collected from each of the accused as compensation to T. Khader, husband of Ms. Pathumma.
The court had also awarded two years imprisonment and penalty of Rs.1,000 to the accused under Section 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage); five years and Rs.3,000 under Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive with intent to destroy house) and two years and Rs.3,000 under Section 450 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment for life) of the IPC. However, the imprisonment will run concurrently, the court ordered.
The court also awarded a penalty of Rs.1,000 under Section 143 (unlawful assembly); Rs.2,000 under Section 147 (rioting); Rs.3,000 under Section 148 (rioting, armed with weapons); Rs.3,000 under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony); and Rs.2,000 under Section 427 of the IPC to the accused.