KOCHI: The Kerala High Court acquitted three persons, including two ex-CPM local office-bearers, in the case related to the murder of Youth Congress leader Abdul Jabbar of Kasargod in 2009. Former CPM Kumbala area secretary Sudhakara alias Sudhakaran Master, former CPM Enmakaje local committee member Abdulla Kunji alias Nadubail Abdulla and Yeshwanth Kumar alias Yessu of Perla were acquitted by the court.
The CBI Special Court, Ernakulam, had sentenced the accused persons to life imprisonment. However, the court confirmed the life sentence awarded to accused Moidheen Kunji alias Moini of Badiyadukka, eighth accused Ravi alias Ravi Panchambala of Mangalpadi, 10th accused Abdul Basheer alias Basheer of Balloor and 12th accused Mahesh of Paivalika.
The charge against Sudhakaran and Abdulla was they entered into a criminal conspiracy to murder Jabbar apparently offered a gang Rs 5 lakh and other favours for committing the crime. The five-member gang had intercepted Jabbar’s car near Ukkinadka on November 3, 2009, and hit him with sharp weapons. The High Court noted the Special Court had acquitted three other persons as there was no proof of a conspiracy being hatched through them.
When that charge was not proved, the prosecution could not point fingers at the fourth and sixth accused, the High Court said. The appellant argued the version of the second and third accused, who turned approvers, could not be treated as evidence against Sudhakaran and Abdulla in the absence of any corroboration.
The evidence projected by the prosecution regarding the presence of Sudhakaran and Abdulla at Rancha was based on the approvers’ versions. The court observed the evidence by approvers could not be relied upon to prove the alleged conspiracy. “Even assuming their versions can be taken on record, they still had only hearsay information and no direct knowledge of the alleged conspiracy,” the court said.