Kerala HC upholds beedi tycoon’s life sentence for killing security guard

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday upheld a trial court decision to sentence beedi tycoon Mohammed Nisham to life for causing the death of a security guard with his large sports utility vehicle in 2015. The court also rejected a plea by the Kerala government seeking the death penalty for Nisham.

The defence had argued that the guard, K Chandrabose, who was deployed on duty at Sobha City residential complex in Thrissur, was accidentally hit by Nisham’s Hummer.

The court, however, said, “There is not even a reasonable hypothesis of the deceased having been injured in an accident, pure and simple, or even in the midst of an altercation. The intention cannot be a mere physical assault when the deceased was chased with a car and mowed down. There was a deliberate mowing down of a person with a powerful vehicle, causing poly-trauma, clearly evident from the medical evidence…”

The court said it is clear that the conscious act of running down a man to cause injuries, which in the ordinary course would lead to death, made the accused liable for murder.

“We find the death to be a direct consequence of the injury caused in the hit by the vehicle driven by the accused, with deliberate, malicious intent to kill, coming within Section 300 of IPC (culpable homicide amounting to murder),” the court added.

A trial court in 2016 had convicted the accused under Sections 323, 324, 326, 302, 427, 449 and 506 of the IPC, and handed him life imprisonment as well as a fine of Rs70 lakh.

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