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Five acquitted in Palani Baba case

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: : Five persons, found guilty and awarded life imprisonment by a lower court in connection with the murder of the All India Jihad Committee president, Palani Baba alias Ahmed Ali, were acquitted of all charges by the Madras High Court.

Palani Baba was murdered in Pollachi on January 28, 1997, and the trial court found all but one of the six accused guilty in 1999.

While acquitting one Gopalasamy, it awarded life-term to five others — Sudhakaran, Manoj, Murali, Thirugnanam and Udhayakumar.

Allowing the appeal of the five, a Division Bench comprising Justice N. Dhinakar and Justice M. Chockalingam said there was no "clinching evidence" to prove the conspiracy charges against the accused, and added that important witnesses turned hostile during trial. The Judges ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the accused, and concluded that they were entitled to acquittal.

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