Expressing concern that the rich were becoming “megalomaniacs”, the Supreme Court Friday rejected the bail plea of Kerala businessman Mohammed Nisham, who was jailed for allegedly crushing to death a security guard with his Hummer SUV over delay in opening the gates of his apartment.
A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra observed that the case was an illustration of how rich people do not value the lives of the poor, and that the affluent have perhaps become “egocentric and megalomaniacs”. Nisham, the bench said, did not seem to value the lives of others and that “arrogance and imprudence” were observed in him.
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An allegedly inebriated Nisham reportedly assaulted the security guard, Chandrabose, and rammed his Hummer into him following an argument over delay in opening the gates at a posh residential township in Thrissur on January 29. On February 16, Chandrabose succumbed to his injuries in hospital, after which Nisham was booked on murder charges. Nisham approached the apex court after the Thrissur district court and the High Court rejected his bail plea.
However, the SC bench dismissed the arguments of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who appeared for Nisham, saying: “When you stay in the same apartment and you run over a poor security guard… how can you expect us to give you bail?”
The court added: “The accused does not seem to value the lives of the poor and destitute. But one should know poverty and the poor matter. There is pride in poverty. It teaches you.”
The court also shot down Subramanium’s argument that Nisham had clean records. “Your not being a history-sheeter does not matter here. The manner in which this crime has been committed does matter,” said the bench. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Kerala. Opposing Nisham’s bail, Sibal said the crime resembled that of “Goliath killing someone” and that Nisham’s “arrogance” disentitled him of any reprieve.
The bench has directed the trial court to conclude Nisham’s trial in three months.