After nearly two-and-a-half decades of a long-stretched legal battle, and eleven years after the case reached the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court on Saturday convicted five CPI (M) activists and sentenced them to seven years in jail for the murder of a BJP man in Thrissur district, 24 years ago.
The High Court of Kerala had acquitted these seven party workers ruling that although they were a part of unlawful assembly, they did not participate in active killing. But SC said that if one is consciously participating in an unlawful assembly, then he is also liable for the mobâ€™s actions.
The CPI (M) workers Majeed, Ummer aka Podi Ummer, Balaji, Muraleedharan and Hasheem were a part of a mob which attacked Suresh Babu, a BJP worker, who was travelling in a bus in Ottappilavu of Thrissur on March 10, 1993. Suresh succumbed to his injuries later.
The case reached the Supreme Court in 2006, and was heard for 11 years. Now, a bench Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao dismissed the High Court verdict and said, â€śThe accused along with others assembled and were searching for BJP workers travelling in the buses that were passing through the junction. We do not agree with the finding of the HC that merely because the accused did not plan to murder Suresh Babu, there was no common object. The common object of the members of the unlawful assembly was to attack any BJP supporter who was passing through Ottappilavu junction. Unfortunately, Suresh Babu was in the bus and he was killed in the attack,â€ś according to The Times of India.
The judgement also said that these five-accusedâ€™s participation in the unlawful assembly was not as an onlooker or bystander, which proves their participation in the act.
The prime accused who had stabbed Suresh Babu had died few years ago during the trials.