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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightHand chopping case:...

Hand chopping case: Quantum of punishment to be pronounced Friday

Hand chopping case: Quantum of punishment to be pronounced Friday

Kochi: A special NIA court, which convicted 13 people in the sensational hand chopping case of a college professor in Kerala in 2010, will pronounce the quantum of punishment on May 8.

Special NIA court Judge P Sasidharan Tuesday announced the date after hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and the defence on the punishment to be awarded to the 13 convicts in the case. The court also heard the convicts.

The prosecution lawyer argued that the convicts don't deserve any mercy as they had indulged in "offence of terrorism" for which they have so far shown "no amount of remorse".

He argued for maximum punishment prescribed under the law to the convicts, of which 10 have been found guilty under various sections of the central law dealing with terror-- the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The prosecution also sought adequate compensation for T J Joseph, professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki district, whose hand was chopped while he was returning home after attending a Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on July 4, 2010.

The prosecution lawyer said there is no other force other than the judiciary that can curb the act of terrorism.

Presenting his argument, the defence lawyer said the convicts were the sole breadwinners of their families and they should be given only minimum sentences prescribed under law.

He also pointed out that the convicts were not habitual offenders.

The 13 persons owing allegiance to Popular Front of India (PFI) chopped off Joseph's hand out of enmity towards him, accusing him of hurting the religious sentiments of a community through a question paper he had set for his students.

Besides UAPA, the court had also found the 10 accused guilty under various sections of Explosive Substances Act and IPC that deals with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder.

The court, however, convicted three accused--Abdul Lateef, Anwar Sadique and Riyas-- under Section 212 of IPC.

Eighteen people have been acquitted by the court citing lack of evidence against them in the case.

Thirty-seven persons were chargesheeted by the NIA in the case. However, 31 only underwent trial as the remaining six, including first accused Savad, were absconding.

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