Kerala to move Supreme Court to seek death penalty for businessman
The Kerala government has decided to approach the Supreme Court to seek death penalty for beedi tycoon Mohammad Nisham, who was awarded life-term for killing a security guard with his large sports utility vehicle in Thrissur district in 2015.
The Kerala government has decided to approach the Supreme Court to seek death penalty for beedi tycoon Mohammad Nisham, who was awarded life-term for killing a security guard with his large sports utility vehicle in Thrissur district in 2015, a senior government counsel said.
This came after the Kerala high court in September dismissed the state’s plea seeking death penalty for the accused.
The counsel, who did not wish to be named, said the state government and director general of prosecutions T A Shaji have the nod to file the petition in the top court to upgrade the sentence.
On January 29, 2015, Nisham mowed down the security guard, Chandra Bose (51), with his Hummer after the duo had an argument over a delay in opening the gates of his apartment. Bose was rushed to a hospital by neighbours where he succumbed to injuries three weeks later.
Two months after the incident, amid a nationwide outrage, the then UDF government suspended the then Thrissur police commissioner, Jacob Job, for allegedly trying to weaken the case.
In 2016, the Thrissur district additional sessions court awarded Nisham life imprisonment and also imposed a fine of ₹80 lakh on him.
On September 16 this year, the high court dismissed the accused’s plea against the life sentence and also rejected the state’s plea to upgrade it to death sentence.
“We can consider the move as rare, but it is not the first such case,” Supreme Court lawyer M R Abhilash said.
Nisham has moved the high court and apex court several times after his sentencing. Two years ago, the high court had sought a report from the state government on his mental health after his counsel alleged his client was suffering from depression.
A medical board that examined him told the court that he was not suffering from any serious mental ailments.
In 2016, Nisham was shifted to Kannur central jail amid allegations that he was getting special treatment in Viyyur central jail in Thrissur. In Kannur, some officials were suspended in 2017 after he was found using mobile phones and running his family business from jail.
Nisham’s brush with law was nothing new. In 2013, he was booked for reportedly allowing his minor son to drive his Ferrari in their residential complex. A case was registered against his Facebook post on the same went viral.
In another incident, he allegedly locked a woman sub-inspector inside his Rolls Royce car for more than two hours after she tried to book him for drunk driving. He was later booked for drunk driving and obstructing a government servant from discharging her duty.
However, he emerged unscathed from such cases.
In 2015, while rejecting his bail plea in the death case, the Supreme Court observed “the case was an example of how the rich have become entirely egocentric and megalomaniac.”
According to his family members, Nisham is the proprietor of the Tamil Nadu-based King Beedi company and exporter of tobacco. He owns businesses in West Asia and his assets at the time of his arrest were worth ₹5,000 crore.