The Kavarathi sessions court on Wednesday sentenced four persons, including Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal, to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment on attempt-to-murder charge in what the prosecution claimed to be a politically motivated assault during the Lok Sabha election in 2009.
Sayed Mohammed Noorul Ameen, 43, was the key accused, followed by Mr. Faizal, 40, Mohammed Husaain, 54, and Mohammed Basheer Thangal, 52 — all residents of Androth Island. While 37 persons were arraigned as accused, all except the four were acquitted.
Mr. Faizal has been remanded in Kannur Central Jail.
Though sessions judge K. Anilkumar sentenced the accused to prison terms running to 15 years on multiple counts, they need to serve them concurrently. Special prosecutor Jibin Joseph K.A. appeared for the prosecution. Ajit G. Anjarlekar was the counsel for de facto complainant Mohammed Salih.
Mr. Faizal runs the risk of being automatically disqualified as a people’s representative as per an apex court verdict in Lily Thomas vs Union of India on July 10, 2013. The apex court had decreed that any Member of Parliament, Member of Legislative Assembly or Member of a Legislative Council who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of two years’ imprisonment loses membership of the House with immediate effect.
The case was registered by the Androth police the day after the incident took place on April 16, 2009. According to the prosecution, the accused unlawfully assembled and assaulted one Mohammed Salih of the Congress due to political rivalry. The accused belonged to the Nationalist Congress Party.
Cases clubbed together
The accused also attacked Kadeejummabi and destroyed her house for sheltering Salih for which another case was registered by the Androth police, the prosecution said. Later, both the cases were clubbed together and a single chargesheet was filed at the direction of the Kerala High Court.
The trial of the case remained stayed by the High Court for long periods before it was vacated. The judgment also found fault with the investigation officer and the then inspector of Androth Island M.P. Najumudheen and recommended departmental action against him though he has retired from service. The judge cited at least nine instances of gross negligence on the part of the investigating officer.