Kerala high court upholds tobacco magnate’s life imprisonment

Kerala high court upholds tobacco magnate’s life imprisonment

The Kerala high court on Friday upheld the life imprisonment awarded to tobacco magnate Mohammad Nisham for killing a security guard in a fit of rage by ramming his SUV into him in Thrissur in 2015.

A division bench of Justices Vinod K Chandran and C Jayachandran said there was no need to interfere with a trial court’s verdict in the matter and also rejected the prosecution’s plea to enhance his life sentence to capital punishment. “All appeals stand dismissed.”

Jamanti, the security guard Chandra Bose’s widow, said she was happy that the court turned down Nisham’s appeal.

Thrissur district additional sessions court in 2016 sentenced Nisham and slapped a 70 lakh fine on him. It said 50 lakh of the fine will go to Jamanti.

Nisham chased Bose in his SUV and crushed him against the wall when the guard tried to escape as the businessman assaulted him after an argument over the delay in opening the gates of his house.

The Supreme Court directed the trial court to complete the hearing in the matter in a year and deliver its verdict.

Police booked Nisham in 2013 when he reportedly allowed his minor son to drive his Ferrari. He also allegedly locked a police officer inside his Rolls Royce car for over two hours as she attempted to book him for drunk driving.

In 2016, the government suspended Thrissur police commissioner Jacob Job for allegedly trying to weaken some cases against him. Nisham was shifted to Kannur central jail three years ago after complaints that he was getting special treatment in Thrissur jail.

Police seized Nisham’s vehicles, including a Bentley, Aston Martin, and Ferrari, and a licensed gun after Bose’s murder.

Nisham is the proprietor of the Tamil Nadu-based King Beedi company and exporter of tobacco. He owns businesses in West Asia and his assets at the time of his arrest were worth 5000 crore.

A medical team that the high court constituted last year to examine Nisham’s mental health ruled out any ailments.

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