KOCHI: The High Court on Friday acquitted the five accused who were convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by the Ernakulam Special Court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Panayikulam SIMI camp case of 2006.
P A Shaduly alias Haris Abdul Karim of Erattupetta; Abdul Rasik of Erattupetta; Anzar Nadvi of Aluva; Nizamuddin of Panayikulam and Shammas of Erattupetta were acquitted by an HC Division Bench comprising Justice A M Shaffique and Justice A M Babu on the grounds that there was no evidence to prove the criminal conspiracy charges against them.
The case relates to a secret meeting of SIMI, the banned outfit, at Panayikulam in Aluva, Ernakulam on August 15, 2006. The Division Bench observed the prosecution had no case as to when and where the conspiracy took place.
The prosecution had argued the accused brought pamphlets containing anti-national, seditious and inflammatory writings to whip up hatred and contempt against the Government of India. It was alleged the accused Rasik and Anzar in their speech advocated for the cession of Kashmir through Jihad and for bringing back Muslim rule in India. The meeting was convened to cause disaffection towards the Government of India and to conduct jihad for the Kashmir’s cession.
In their appeals, the accused contended there was no evidence to prove SIMI convened the meeting.
‘Speech did not incite hatred’
The Bench observed the speeches by Rasik and Anzar did not create any hatred or contempt towards the Government of India, nor did they incite any disaffection. Hence, provisions under 124A (sedition) could not be invoked. None of the speeches stated they should show disloyalty to the government. Of course, it was stated certain laws like TADA and NSA were oppressive and Muslims were tortured. It might be true it may trench upon making malicious speech. They were projecting the plight of Muslims, viewed in a very narrow-angle as the saviour of Muslim community. The prosecution failed to prove the contents of the speech.
The Bench observed the NIA Special Court committed serious error in convicting the accused. The HC also dismissed the NIA’s appeals against the acquittal of 11 accused by the NIA Special Court.