Kochi: Kerala High Court on Thursday sentenced 24 persons to life imprisonment, setting aside their acquittal by a lower court in connection with the 2003 communal violence in Marad that claimed nine lives.
The court had partially allowed an appeal by the government challenging the acquittal of 76 of the 139 accused in the case by a special court in Marad.
The Marad court, in January, 2009, had awarded life imprisonment to 62 accused and five year imprisonment to another.
A division bench comprising justices M Shashidharan Nambiar and P Bhavadasan, however, rejected the government`s plea to award death sentence to at least 13 accused who were given life imprisonment earlier by the special court.
Sentencing 24 of the 76 acquitted earlier to life imprisonment, the bench imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on them.
Challenging their sentence, the 62 convicts had also approached the court, which was turned down by the bench.
In the communal violence, the worst-ever in the state`s history, eight persons were hacked to death by assailants armed with swords on the Marad Beach in Kozhikode district. One assailant had also died accidentally in the violence.