The Kerala High Court acquitted the prime accused of the 2006 Kozhikode twin blasts Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Shafas.
The Court held that while confessions may have an element of truth in it but it fails to persuade the Judges, in travelling the distance between ‘may be true’ and ‘must be true’; the whole of which distance, must be covered by ‘legal, reliable and unimpeachable evidence’. A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran grilled the investigators including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their efforts in gathering independent evidence and improper recording of confessions, which lacked in the opinion of the court. The Court established the fact that there are neither any evidence regarding preparation which are reliable nor commission of the crime that would incriminate the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
A trial court had sentenced the accused to double life imprisonment in 2012. The blasts took place on March 3, 2006 at a private bus stand and the state road transport corporation terminal in Kozhikode, injuring two people, including a policeman. The accused later informed the district collector and media houses about them, after planting two low-intensity bombs. The initial investigation was done by the state police department, but the case was handed over to the NIA. A charge sheet was filed by the NIA in 2010, mentioning 7 people in it. The special NIA court has found both the accused guilty of the offences under various sections of the UAPA Act, 1967 and they were sentenced to life imprisonment. Both the accused challenged the decision made by the lower court, stating that they were implicated by the NIA.
As per the prosecution, nine accused including Nazeer and Shafas were alleged to have conspired, planned and executed the twin blasts, for reason of bail having been denied to the accused in the second Marad incident (communal riot case), where 136 of the 142 accused remained in jail, as undertrials, for about four and a half years.
The court ruled that in their anxiety to wrap up the case; since the court don’t think the NIA officers would be ignorant of the law on the subject, they even recorded the confessions made by the accused, clearly inadmissible under Section 25 & 26 of the Evidence Act.