A Muslim man who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on suspicion of hatching a plot to assassinate a Hindu man who had objected to the conversion of his son to Islam was granted bail by the Madras High Court bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and AD Jagadish Chandirain on Friday.
The court ruled that no one had complained about the appellant, that no one had been harmed, and that the UAPA had solely been utilised to deny the accused’s request for release.
The Court further determined that the accusations that Sadam Hussain, the appellant, sought to kill one Kumaresan because the man resisted converting his kid to Islam did not qualify as a “terrorist act” under UAPA.
“Therefore, in the opinion of this court, the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been included only in order to deny/delay the appellant from getting bail from the court. Further, considering the facts of the case, this court is of the opinion that the allegations against the appellant do not fall within the definition of ‘Terrorist Act’ and there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against the appellant is prima facie true,” the court held
According to the prosecution’s argument, on March 7, 2022, a policeman located the appellant in suspicious circumstances and took him into custody.
When questioned, he allegedly admitted to the police that he was a part of the Mulsim community’s advocacy group, the Indian Muslim Development Association (IMDA).
Along with three other co-accused, he allegedly confessed to having been “deployed” there by the president of IMDA. Additionally, he allegedly admitted that the IMDA chief had requested him to signal him anytime a Kumaresan arrived so that he and the other two men could join the appellant in killing Kumaresan.
According to the authorities, Kumaresan’s son had wed a Muslim woman whose parents desired that he convert to Islam. The girl’s parents allegedly ordered the appellant and the head of IMDA to assassinate Kumaresan since he had passionately opposed the proposal.
According to the authorities, the goal of this plot was to kill Kumaresan, convert his son to Islam, and strongly warn other members of the Hindu community against marrying Muslims in order to convert them to Hinduism.
However, the justices deemed the argument regarding the motive to be incoherent.
The Court observed that the prosecution’s theory of the accused’s motivation comprises two limbs. First, removing the obstacle that prevented one Arunkumar, who had married a Muslim girl and converted from Hinduism to Islam, and second, threatening members of other communities not to engage in conflict with Muslims.
The judge’s reasoning was that if the defendant had intended to kill Kumaresan, it would have been done in secret so that he wouldn’t stand in the way of his son’s conversion to Islam. They would have killed Kumaresan in broad daylight, nevertheless, if their goal had been to terrorise those who have different ideas.
“A logical analysis would reveal that both the limbs of motive travel vice versa and they cannot be meeting at any point,” the Court held
The judges also took note of the police’s first registration of an offence under sections 153(A) (attempting to sow communal unrest) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act, followed by the use of the Arms Act and UAPA provisions.
It further mentioned that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had been contacted by the State police about this case, but the central organisation declined to take it on.
Regarding the validity of the accusations against the accused, the court made the following observations:
“From the perusal of the case diary and the materials available, other than the appellants and the other accused having been arrested based on suspicion and their confession being recorded while in custody and recovery of Bill Hooks from the other accused, there is no other material to pin point that the appellant and other accused had intended to commit the murder of Kumaresan and to create terror and fear among the public and people of other section.”
Given the foregoing, the bench released the appellant on bail with a 25,000 surety. He was warned not to break any laws while out on bail, run away, or tamper with evidence.
Additionally, he was had to give the police his phone number, passport information, and address.
For the appellant, advocate SMA Jinnah was present.
Babu Muthumeeran, an additional public prosecutor, represented the State.
The NIA was represented by Special Public Prosecutor R Karthikeyan.