New Delhi: Responding to a plea by the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) challenging of the acquittal of five men accused of organising a meeting of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Kerala’s Panayikkulam in August 2006, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to them.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India stated that the appeal for the controversial 2006 case is tagged to the appeal of 2007 TADA case in Assam.
The Supreme Court, however, has not stayed the High Court order acquitting the five. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the NIA.
In November 2015, the NIA court in Kochi convicted five persons—- P A Shaduly, Abdul Razik, Ansar Nadvi, Nizamuddin and Shammas —- and sentenced them in the case involving 17 accused, including a minor.
While acquitting the rest, the case against the minor was separated from the other five accused.
On August 15, 2006, the 17 accused—of them accused 1 to 5 arranged the meeting—according to the prosecution, assembled in an auditorium at Panayikulam.
The agency claimed that the accused had brought pamphlets containing anti-national, and seditious writing, having the intent to cause hatred and contempt against the Government of India.
The prosecution also alleged that the books and pamphlets were publications of SIMI.
They were charged with sedition under Section 124A and other offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
High Court acquitted them disagreeing with the agency’s charge that their speech amounted to sedition.