The Supreme Court has upheld the acquittal of four persons charged with the murder of Veeraganeshan, then district organiser of the Coimbatore unit of the Hindu Munnani, an RSS outfit. A two-judge bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma said that neither the testimony of the eyewitnesses nor the dying declaration of the victim provided sufficient material to fasten the guilt of Mohamed Subair and three others to the crime.
Tamil Nadu Government had filed the appeal after the Madras High Court had earlier acquitted the accused by reversing the conviction and life sentence imposed by the Sessions Judge who had held the accused guilty of the murder which occured on August 26, 1989, in Coimbatore town. It was the allegation of the prosecution that the accused had committed the murder after scribbling words like "Islamic Fatwa," "Jihad" and certain other words in the town.
However, the apex court noted that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses (PWs) failed to inspire confidence and hence should be discarded. "It is seen that PWs 1 and 2 stated that they had left the injured in lurch and had disappeared from the scene making deceased to ask an auto driver to take him to hospital. "Would any close friend of a person involved in the movement allow such a thing to happen to him is the question looming large and there is no explanation for it. Further, it is curious to note that both PWs 1 and 2 have stated that they did not inform about the occurrence to anybody till they were asked by the police in the midnight of the date of occurrence," the bench remarked.
According to the apex court the conduct of PWs 1 and 2 is unnatural and unbelievable and their presence at the time of occurrence is doubtful and the testimonies of PWs 1 and 2 cannot be accepted. The apex court further held that in the dying declaration the deceased had stated that he did not know the names of the assailants, which it said was contrary to the claim of the prosecution that the accused were known to the deceased.