KOCHI: Amidst the hot political debate over the murder of Youth Congress leader S L Shuhaib, the case has assumed significance for handing over the inquiry to the Central agency in a short span of time after the occurrence of the crime. The murder happened on February 12. Though the special investigation team arrested 11 accused persons and collected evidence against them, the court expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the probe was carried out and handed over the case to the CBI after 24 days.
Legal luminaries said, normally the murder cases are handed over to the CBI after a probe by the local police or the Crime Branch and it may take at least one or two years. Recently the High Court had ordered a CBI probe into a few political murder cases, including the murder of RSS worker Elanthottathil Manoj alias Kathiroor Manoj, Muhammed Fasal murder and Ariyil Shukoor murder case. Two murder cases were transferred after one year of the crime and in the Ariyil Shukoor murder case, the CBI probe came almost four years after the incident in 2012.
Former Director General of Prosecution T Asaf Ali said it is the fourth case registered in Kannur being investigated by the CBI in recent times. Unlike the other three cases, the Shuhaib murder case has got a unique feature as the prime investigating agency in the country is getting an opportunity to probe the case at its foetus stage. “The CBI can collect all the evidence and material objects at first hand without being allowed to be destroyed by other interested persons. The order of the High Court will have a long-lasting impact,” Asaf Ali said. He added the verdict would help restore peace and harmony in the violence affected district.
While handing over the Shuhaib murder case to the CBI, the High Court observed that the larger conspiracy in the political murder has to be unearthed and exterminating political opponents should not be permitted to continue.
The High Court observed that it is highly condemnable that the police failed to recover the weapons even after two accused were arrested on February 18. They could only recover the dress of the accused. Inability or deliberate lapses in effecting such recovery certainly speak volumes against the police. It may be because their hands are fettered as submitted by the petitioner.
Innumerable murders have been taking place in the locality, the High Court observed. And all these murders are being styled as political murders. Political parties are not dying whereas individuals are being put to death and their family members virtually suffering. The High Court dismissed the plea of the state government that the Single Judge has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter when the issue involved Article 226 (2) of the Constitution.
CM defends police probe
T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has defended the state police that investigated the case. Replying to the debate on the demands for grants in the Budget for the next fiscal, he said what the police had done was correct. “No one has said the arrested people were not the real accused. But the High Court may have its own stand,” he said replying to Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.