The Supreme Court has convicted five men in relation to the murder of an RSS man in Kerala, which took place 23 years ago.
Twenty-one persons were accused of murdering one Suresh Babu. Seven of them were convicted by the trial court for murder. The high court, on appeal by the convicts, acquitted four of them viz. Majeed, Ummer alias Podi Ummer, Balaji, Muralledharan and Hasheem alias Muhammed Hasheem. The state and complaint approached the apex court against their acquittal.
The apex court bench observed: “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.”
With regard to Ummer, whose sentence was reduced to one year by the high court, Justice SA Bobde observed: “There is no such evidence on record that having participated in the unlawful assembly which resulted in the death of Suresh Babu, he made any attempt to either stop the incident from taking place, or having found out that he could not prevent it, dissociated himself from the assembly.”
Justice Bobde also observed that the presence of an accused as part of an unlawful assembly, when not as a curious onlooker or a bystander, suggests his participation in the object of the assembly. “When the prosecution establishes such presence, then it is the conduct of the accused that would determine whether he continued to participate in the unlawful assembly with the intention to fulfill the object of the assembly, or not,” he added.
Read the Judgment here.