Kerala Youth Congress has alleged that the arrest of their state president Rahul Mamkootathil was illegal and that the police did not follow proper procedure. Speaking to TNM, Youth Congress Legal Wing president Murali Krishnan said that Rahul was arrested without being served a notice as per section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Notice of appearance before police officer). The arrest of a person served a 41A notice can only be made after the accused is given a chance to explain himself.
According to Murali, a police team from Thiruvananthapuram reached the residence of Rahul at Pathanamthitta without informing the district police. “The police surrounded the house, manhandled him, and made the arrest. When Rahul reached the police station, he was asked to sign a few papers,” he added. It is presumed that the papers included the notice under section 41A too.
However, when the Congress questioned the police's action in court, the prosecution and the police informed the court that the Thiruvananthapuram cantonment Station House Officer had served the 41A notice to Rahul, as per the Supreme Court guidelines.
In 2022, the apex court had ruled that there was no need for an arrest if the offence committed does not deserve a punishment of more than seven years. However, as per the cases registered, the Youth Congress leader can get a jail term of 10 years which does not require the notice to be served.
Reacting to the arrest, Congress MLA Shafi Parambil said the party would not get bogged down by the action. “The police are working as an extension of CPI(M). Their efforts to silence and spread fear among the cadre will not work,” he said. The district sessions court will hear Rahul’s bail petition, filed on medical grounds, on January 17.
Rahul was arrested by the Kerala police for his involvement in the Secretariat march against the state government’s Nava Kerala Sadas, which had turned violent. The Youth Congress leader was booked under sections 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from duty) of the Indian Penal Code.