After spending three years in jail, Ernakulam Court acquits guest worker for crime he did not commit

On December 25, 2017, Ernakulam Police took guest worker Suresh into custody after finding illegal drugs in his sack containing scrap
For representational purpose only
For representational purpose only

We have heard of several cases in the United States where courts have acquitted people for a crime they did not commit in the first place. More often than not, such people spend long jail sentences before the court acquits them. One such incident took place in Kerala recently after a sessions court acquitted a guest worker in Kerala for a crime he did not commit.

According to reports, the Ernakulam First Class Additional Session Court acquitted Tamil Nadu native Suresh, a guest worker who was forced to spend three-and-a-half years in a Kerala jail. This is the same Suresh who made headlines on May 2020, when he donated Rs 10,000 to the Chief Minister’s Covid Relief Fund.

Suresh’s story is heart-wrenching. A scrap dealer by profession, Suresh moved from Nagarcoil to Kochi with his pregnant wife. On December 25, 2017, Ernakulam Police took him into custody after finding illegal drugs in his sack containing scrap.

According to reports, Suresh explained to the police that a medical shop had abandoned the expired drugs. He added that he intended to extract aluminium contents from the collected bottles. However, to Suresh’s misfortune, the police did not believe him and took him to custody. The guest worker knew only Tamil and had communication problems. Nobody came to bail him out and he was remanded in Thrissur district jail.

Reportedly, his wife made several attempts to bail Suresh in 2018. However, tragedy struck when she passed due to pregnancy complications after delivering her child. Suresh was informed of his wife’s death, but there was no information about the infant. Reports suggest that his family in Nagarcoil did try and bail him but cut ties with him after they were informed that he is an accused in a drug case.

According to reports, Suresh made a request to jail authorities for work during his time in jail. Generally, those in remanded do not do jail work but, Suresh wanted to work. The jail authorities complied with his request, and he was allowed to clean and perform agriculture work within the jail premises. He earned wages because of his work. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Suresh decided to contribute to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Following his gesture, Suresh’s story became viral. The public got to know about Suresh’s story through the news and social media. Public Prosecutor Sreekumar appeared for Suresh in the court. The court found Suresh innocent and ordered his release. However, Suresh’s story doesn’t end here. Reports suggest that since his release, Suresh is searching for his child and late wife’s grave.

The NationWide