In SC appeal, Kerala to seek death for bizman who crushed his guard with SUV
The Kerala high court upheld the trial court verdict, sentencing Mohammad Nisham, 45, to life in prison. The state government will move the Supreme Court to seek death penalty for the state’s beedi tycoon
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to approach the Supreme Court to seek death penalty for tobacco tycoon Mohammad Nisham, 45, who was awarded life-term for ramming his luxury SUV into a 51-year-old security guard who was slow in opening the gate of his apartment complex in January 28, 2015, a senior government lawyer said on Monday.
The counsel, who asked not to named, said the state government and director general of prosecution TA Shaji have cleared the proposal to file a petition in the Supreme Court in this context.
Nisham, who has been behind bars for more than seven years, was awarded the life term in 2016 by Thrissur district additional sessions court which also slapped a ₹70 lakh fine, out of which ₹50 lakh was to be given to the security guard Chandra Bose’s widow, Jamanti.
The Kerala high court upheld the trial court verdict in September this year and rejected the prosecution plea to award death penalty to the Thrissur millionaire. The high court ruled that there was no need to intefere with the trial court’s verdict.
The incident took place when the guard was late to open the gate of the apartment enraging the beedi tycoon who got involved in an argument with the guard and assaulted him. When Bose tried to escape, the accused chased him in his SUV — a Hummer — and crushed him against the wall.
Bose was taken to hospital by other residents but he died three weeks later.
Supreme Court lawyer MR Abhilash said the government’s plan to approach the Supreme Court to seek the death penalty was rare but not the first such case.
But lawyers familiar with the case said the business tycoon, whose assets back in 2015 were estimated to worth ₹5,000 crore, had approached the high court six times and Supreme Court four times in an effort to slow down the legal proceedings. Finally, the Supreme Court ordered the trial court to fast-track the verdict.
In 2021, the high court constituted a medical team to examine Nisham’s mental health at his legal team’s request. But the board did not find any indication that he has any mental illness.
Two months after the incident, then Thrissur police commissioner Jacob Job was suspended for allegedly trying to weaken the case. Police officers familiar with the case said there were many attempts to make it just an accident case.
He was shifted from Viyyur central jail in Thrissur to Kannur central jail after complaints that he was getting special treatment. In Kannur also, some officials were suspended in 2017 after he was found using mobile phones and running his family business from jail.
In March 2017, a right to information request revealed that he managed to get into the list of prisoners in Kerala identified to receive remission of their sentence on the anniversary celebration of Kerala’s formation day. His name was later dropped after a huge public outcry.
To be sure, Bose’s death wasn’t Nisham’s first brush with law.
In 2013, he uploaded a video on Youtube of his nine-year-old son driving a Ferrari, which went viral and sparked outrage. The police then filed a case against him.
He also had a separate criminal case for allegedly locking up a woman sub-inspector in his Rolls Royce because she tried to book him for drink driving. In all, he faced about 12 cases but seemed to always emerge unscathed until he mowed down Bose.