Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday suffered a serious setback when the Kerala High Court acquitted alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Shafas, convicted by the NIA court in 2011 in connection with the 2006 Kozhikode twin blasts case.
This was the first case registered by the premier probe agency in the state. The case pertained to a twin bomb blast at the Kozhikode mofussil bus stand and at the KSRTC bus stand on March 3, 2006.
It was a rare case where the accused informed the authorities and the media about the location of the bombs after planting them.
The case was initially investigated by the local police and the case was taken over by the NIA in 2009.
The Kerala High Court on Thursday allowed the appeal filed by Nazeer against the life imprisonment sentence awarded by the NIA special court, his counsel said.
Both Nazeer and the other accused were charged with conspiring, planning and executing the bomb blasts in Kozhikode KSRTC and mofussil bus stands on March 3, 2006
The Division Bench of Justice Vinod K. Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran also declined the appeal filed by the NIA challenging the trial court's order acquitting two other accused in the case.
Nazeer and Shafaz, the first and fourth accused in the case, had filed an appeal seeking to quash the life sentence imposed on them by the trial court.
They also refuted the trial court's finding that they had committed offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
While the accused had moved the Court alleging that they were innocent, the NIA had also preferred an appeal aggrieved by the trial court's decision acquitting the third and ninth accused in the case, Abdul Halim and Abubaker Yusuf.
The NIA had filed a charge sheet in 2010 under sections of the UAPA, IPC and Explosive Substances Act after taking over the investigation
The blast was reportedly planned in protest against the denial of bail to some Muslim accused in the 2003 Marad communal riots case.