KOCHI: In a major relief to the CPM-led state government, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed the Single Judge order handing over the probe into the murder of Youth Congress leader S P Shuhaib, to the CBI. The Bench headed by Chief Justice Antony Dominic issued the interim order while admitting the appeal filed by the state government seeking to quash the order. The Single Judge had observed a large-scale conspiracy behind the murder can genuinely be suspected and it had to be unearthed.
When the petition came up for hearing, T Asaf Ali, counsel for the victim’s parents, submitted writ appeal was not maintainable. To which the Bench asked if so, how did the writ petition which was filed by the parents seeking CBI probe before the Single Judge was maintainable? The counsel submitted appeal against an order of the Single Judge will not lie before the Division Bench in criminal matters and the only provision is to approach the Supreme Court. The incident occurred in Mattannur which falls within the limits of erstwhile Malabar District of Madras Presidency, hence Clause 15 of the Letter Patent (Madras) is applicable and not Section 5(1) of Kerala High Court Act.
Under section 5 of the State Recognisations Act 1956, a new state known as the state of Kerala was formed comprising the state of Travancore-Cochin excluding the territories transferred to the state of Madras by Section 4 of the Act. The territories transferred are Malabar districts and Kasargod taluk of South Kanara. The Letters Patent which was applicable to the transferred territories continued to apply even after formation of the state. The court posted the hearing of the case on March 23.
Witnesses allege intimidation
Kannur: The prime witnesses in the Shuhaib case were purportedly threatened by the accused as they were waiting at the Kannur Sub-Jail after the identification parade. Following this, the witnesses - Noushad, Moinuddeen and Riyas - lodged a complaint with the district police chief.