Kerala High court
Kerala High court

The Kerala High Court dismissed the appeals filed by two accused in the palm chopping case seeking deferment of the second phase of the trial in the case before the Special NIA Special Court here.

Division Bench comprising Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman AA dismissed the appeals filed by the accused, Sajil and MK Noushad challenging an order of the Special NIA Court declining to postpone the trial. Petitioners sought to defer the trial in view of the pandemic situation.

NIA submitted "preparations had been made by the court to proceed with the trial, observing the pandemic protocol. In fact, only two of the accused were now in custody and the others were on bail who could appear through videoconferencing." This case pertains to TJ Joseph, then a teacher at Newman College at Thodupuzha, whose right palm was chopped off on July 4, 2010, when he was returning home from church with his family.

He was attacked for allegedly preparing a question paper for the second semester BCom examination which contained a reference to Prophet Mohammed. Several members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were arrested in the case later.

Of the 51 accused in the case, 45 were charge-sheeted by the NIA. As many as 31 persons were put on trial and 13 were convicted in 2015.

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Free Press Journal