KOCHI:For M Gopalan, a retired tahsildar and the father of the deceased Balakrishnan, it was justice served after a 17-year legal battle. Sadly, Gopalan’s wife Pankajakshi isn’t alive to witness the day when people involved in the murder of their son were found guilty by the court.
With the police investigation reaching nowhere, Gopalan had written around 100 letters to the President demanding a detailed probe. Even after the Crime Branch took over the probe, the prime accused could not be arrested. The legal battle continued and, in 2010, the case was handed over to the CBI. In due course, the first accused - Mohammad Iqbal, who was directly involved in the case - was arrested.
Struggling to walk due to age-related ailments, Gopalan travelled all the way from Kasargod to Kochi to bear witness to the verdict. He was accompanied by his relatives.
“I am satisfied with the verdict of the CBI Court as the two main accused persons were found guilty by the court,” he told Express.“It was a very long legal battle to see that justice for my son was served. Finally, justice has been done, even though three were acquitted.”
On whether he will approach the High Court with an appeal, he said: “I have no plan to file an appeal. I can’t even walk properly and my age doesn’t allow me to continue with legal proceedings.” His wife Pankajakshi had passed away a few months ago.They had approached the High Court and the Supreme Court, which attracted CBI probe.
A rare case where compensation was paid for police laxity
The Balakrishnan murder case is a rare one where the court ordered the police to compensate the parents of the deceased for lapses in the investigation. Considering the flaws on the part of the police, the High Court ordered the Kerala Police to pay a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh with an interest of six per cent from the date of filing the writ plea in 2013. The court ordered delay and improper probe are violations of Article 21 of the Constitution. The court ruled the improper probe led to a violation of fundamental rights. Later, a Supreme Court bench hiked the compensation amount to Rs 3 lakh. The government, after the court’s intervention, paid the compensation amount.