Published: 27th March 2017
Justice for Jishnu: Mother of Kerala student who hanged himself calls court ruling 'unfair', claims HC Judge was a close acquaintaince of the accused
Jishnu's mother is taking on the system in a fight for justice for her son, pleads with the Chief Justice to keep Justice Mathew from hearing cases against Krishnadas
A mother has trumped norms and dared 'contempt of court' proceedings in a fight for justice for her son. K P Mahija, mother of Jishnu Prannoy, who was found hanging at his hostel room in Nehru College of Engineering & Research Centre, Thrissur due to alleged harassment from the college management, has been on the forefront of the struggle to bring the culprits to task. Last week, she courted controversy when she called out a court ruling which was found to be unfair and biased.
She had gone on record suggesting that HC Judge Justice Abraham Mathew who granted bail to chairman of Nehru Group of Institutions P Krishnadas, was a 'close acquaintance' of the latter and hence had a 'conflict of interest' in the case.
Krishnadas was arrested on charges of assaulting an LLB student, Shahir Showkath Ali, days before the death of Jishnu, in the 'idumuri' (a slang used by the students which translates as 'assault room' ) in the college. But, Justice Mathew granted bail to Krishnadas as he found that non-bailable offences were added to the chargesheet by the police on a later date. Mahija called out the verdict as 'unfair' and said she is unsure if her son would get justice from the judiciary.
Hardly hours after the verdict, social media was abuzz with news of the 'friendship' between the judge and the chairman and photographs of the judge sharing stage with the co-accused surfaced on the internet. Justice Mathew shot back by saying the photographs were of a function he attended at the college and that he has no relationship with Krishnadas whatsoever.
In an unusual act, Mahija approached the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court with a plea to keep Justice Mathew from hearing cases against Krishnadas. Even though there have been many cases in the past where a party felt that they have been served a raw deal at the hands of the court, they kept it to themselves fearing 'contempt of court'.
Mahija's complaint had not gone down well with the lawyers. Kerala Bar Council had said they are considering legal action against Mahija and would serve her a notice. The Council upheld Justice Matthew's claim that his relationships with Nehru Group does not go beyond a lone function he had attended there.
But, Mahija is in no mood to back down. She has approached the Supreme Court to end the 'atmosphere of terror' in many self financing colleges. She and her husband are also planning to go on a hunger strike until justice is served.
January 6: Jishnu Prannoy found hanging at his hostel room. His friends said he took his life after teachers caught him for cheating, which they say was a wrong allegations.
January 9: After news of the torture meted out to students come to light, organisations including SFI, AISF and ABVP vandalize the college.
January 10: In the weeks that followed the death, more news of torture and harassment comes out from other self financed institution especially Toms College of Engineering for Startups, Mattakkara.
January 29: Jishu's mother writes an open letter to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan indicting him of being silent on the death of her son.
February 27: Jishnu’s mother Mahija asked Pinarayi to not visit their house till all the accused in the case are arrested.
March 19: Krishnadas arrested on charges of assaulting an LLB student three days before Jishnu's death
March 23: Krishnadas granted bail by Justice Abraham Mathew