Rahul Mamkoottathil faces charges carrying punishments over 10 years

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Thiruvananthapuram: To avoid serving notice under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), following the Supreme Court guidelines, the Kerala police have charged Rahul Mamkoottathil with sections 326 and 333 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 
According to the charges filed against Rahul, he assaulted the police, caused grievous physical injury to them, used deadly weapons to cause serious harm, and inflicted bone fractures. These offences carry a punishment of more than 10 years in prison. 

Rahul, the newly elected state president of Youth Congress, was apprehended from his residence in the early hours of January 9 (Tuesday). He was booked in connection with a case, related to the secretariat march in which the opposition leader VD Satheesan was the first accused. 31 Youth Congress workers were arrested in connection with the event earlier.

The Supreme Court in 2019 ruled that notice under 41A CrPC was not necessary when an accused was charged under severe crimes of sections 326 and 333 of IPC. However, in 2022, the apex court also mandated that no arrest should occur if the offence is punishable by less than seven years of imprisonment.

During the court proceedings after Rahul’s arrest, the police and prosecution asserted that they had issued a notice under 41A in Rahul’s case. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Cantonment police station in Thiruvananthapuram informed the court that he visited Rahul’s residence in Adoor and issued a notice under Section 41A. Once such a notice is served, an arrest should only take place after hearing the accused’s explanation. 

Meanwhile, Rahul informed the court that he was taken to the Cantonment police station, where the police compelled him to sign some documents. The government lawyer also stated to the media that issuing this notice was unnecessary in the case of Rahul. In the court’s order rejecting Rahul’s bail plea, it also explicitly mentioned that the notice was not required as the offence carried a punishment of 10 years. This raises the question of why the police issued the notice.

Rahul, currently incarcerated in Pujappura District Jail in Thiruvananthapuram, has been transferred from the admission cell to a regular cell, where he is housed with 25 remand prisoners. 

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