Kochi: In a major setback to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the High Court on Friday has set aside the order of the NIA special court in Kochi convicting five persons involved in the Panayikkulam SIMI Camp Case. The court has also rejected the appeal filed by the NIA against the discharge of eight others in the case by the trial court.
A division bench of the High Court stated that the NIA was unable provide any evidence that warrants the conviction of the accused and prove that SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) had org-anised the Panayikkulam Camp. The five persons convicted in the case included Erattpetta Peedikakkal Veetil P.A. Shaduli aka Haris, Era-ttupetta Perakathuserry Veetil Abdul Razik, Aluva Kunjunnikkara Peruthelil Veetil Ansar Nad, Nizamuddin of Panayikkulam Jasmin Manzil and Shammas aka Shammi of Erat-tupetta Amabzhathinkal Veetil. The division bench of the High Court has also upheld the petition filed by Salih, the 13th accused in the case, requesting to quash the charges against him.
The NIA Court has awarded 14 years of imprisonment for Shaduli and Razik and 12 years of imprisonment for others. The court convicted Razik and Ansar the second and third accused in the case for sedition and the other three for criminal conspiracy under the provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Maulavi Rasheed, who was turned approver, in the case was discharged by the trial court.
The Panayikkulam Camp case has attracted nationwide attention in the wake of investigation agencies claim that it was an anti-national conclave organised by the activists of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The event, a public seminar held on August 15, 2006 coinciding with the Independence Day on the Role of Muslims in Independent Struggle, has been projected as an event for the extremist elements to converge and share their views, according to investigation agencies. The counsel for the accused in the High Court has argued that a seminar held in an auditorium located in an open space known for the convergence of many people has been construed as clandestine camp without any credible evidence.
All the 17 accused has been freed from the case with the verdict. The trial court itself had discharged 11 accused in the case while no charges were framed against the approver....