In the early hours on January 29, 2015, beedi tycoon Mohammed Nisham ran over a security guard named Chandrabose after assaulting him in a luxury apartment complex in Thrissur in Kerala.
The case made national headlines and sparked widespread outrage following allegations that several high-profile people including the Kerala chief of police, were trying to influence the case.
However, the case has seen many twists and turns with one of the key witnesses being declared hostile and subsequently telling the court that he had turned hostile because of threats.
Here’s a timeline of what happened since the night Chandrabose was run over and succumbed to injuries:
Nisham’s Hummer runs over security guard Chandrabose on January 29, 2015. After Chandrabose gets injured badly, Nisham beats him mercilessly.
Chandrabose battles for life in a hospital for more than 2 weeks before succumbing to his injuries on February 16.
After Nisham was arrested, he pretended to be ‘sick’ so that he could be set free. However, a police officer from Chavakkad sub-jail said, “He said that he has some severe illness and body pain, that is how we took him to hospital. But there was no problem found in the scan reports, he is fine.”
A Sessions court in Thrissur in February rejected the beedi’s tycoon’s bail application.
Kerala Police charge Nisham under KAAPA (Kerala Anti-social Activities Prevention Act) for being a repeat offender as there are other cases registered against him under the same Act.
Dandapani Associates, which is run by the wife and son of the Advocate General of Kerala K.P. Dandapani, was reported to be fighting the case for Nisham. However, when contacted by The News Minute, Dandapani’s wife and son denied this.
Chandrabose’s statement was not recorded before his death on February 16. “We could not record Chandrabose’s statement as he was unconscious throughout. But there are other witnesses in the case,” Thrissur police commissioner Nishanthini told The News Minute.
The Kerala government suspends Jacob Job, former city police commissioner, Thrissur, for holding a secret meeting with Mohammed Nisham in a closed room without the presence of any other officers.
Chief Whip of Kerala government P C George says that former Director General of Police (DGP) MN Krishnamurthy was allegedly trying to manipulate the case enquiry while Jacob Job had been made a scapegoat. He hands over a CD containing a conversation between the two as evidence to the Kerala CM Oommen Chandy. He insinuated that current DGP Balasubramaniam is also involved.
Kerala Police initiates action in March against former DGP MN Krishnamurthy based on the CD evidence.
The Thrissur vigilance court orders an enquiry to look into allegations against Kerala DGP (Law and Order) K S Balasubramaniam and eight other officers including former police commissioner Jacob Job for allegedly tampering with investigation.
A charge sheet is finally filed on April 4 amid speculation that police were trying to shield the accused businessman. The charge sheet, which is 500 pages long, contains the statements of 108 people, including 11 eyewitnesses, besides 32 scientific evidences and 122 documents. He is charged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder.
The trial, scheduled to begin on May 26 gets postponed a second time, as the judge of the Thrissur District Sessions court is promoted to the High Court. When the prosecution initiated the trial in the first week of April, the court had dismissed proceedings due to the summer vacation.
The trial begins on July 25 at the Thrissur District Sessions court with District judge KP Sudhir to preside over the court.
Nisham’s defense argues, “Chandrabose died due to internal bleeding after an accident and it was a not premeditated murder” during a preliminary hearing of the case on July 21.
The Kerala HC on July 30 upholds the imposition of KAAPA by the state government on Muhammed Nisham.
Five police men get suspended on August 5 for helping murder accused Mohammed Nisham meet his relatives at a luxury restaurant in Thrissur.
Nisham’s plea seeking bail in the Chandrabose murder case is rejected by the Thrissur Additional Sessions Court on September 11.
The main witness Anoop is declared ‘hostile’ on October 26 as he retracts his statement accusing Nisham of murder. However, the following day he tells the court that his conscience would not allow him to lie and sticks to his original stand that Nisham is the culprit.
In October, when Nisham sought an extension of the trial period, the Supreme Court observed that Nisham was a heartless person who had no regard for the lives of others and directed that the trial be completed by January 31.
On October 20, while coming down heavily on Nisham, the SC gives a three-month deadline to the district sessions court to complete the trial. In the first week of January, when the trial was completed, Nisham goes back to the apex court asking for some more evidence to be inspected. The SC however rejects his appeal and says that it can be done at the next stage of appeals.
Nisham files a petition in the Supreme Court on November 20 seeking transfer of his trial to a different state.
Nisham tells court on December 10 that he is innocent and denies any wrongdoing. He further alleges that statements by the three witnesses are false.
After a court trial lasting 79 days, sessions court judge K P Sudheer, is set to pronounce the verdict on January 20, 2016.