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Kerala HC Sets Aside Single Bench Order for CBI Probe into Killing of Youth Cong Worker

Youth Congress worker Shuhaib, 29, was hacked to death allegedly by CPI(M) workers at a tea stall on February 12, 2018.


Updated:August 2, 2019, 4:42 PM IST
Kerala HC Sets Aside Single Bench Order for CBI Probe into Killing of Youth Cong Worker
File image of Kerala High Court.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday set aside a single bench order for a CBI probe into the killing of a Youth Congress worker in Kannur district.

A division bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Jayasankaran Nambiar, allowed an appeal filed by the Kerala government against the single judge bench order.

In its appeal, the government had contended that the single bench passed the order on March 7, 2018, without taking note of the speedy and fair investigation carried out by the state police and without giving them an opportunity to file a counter.

Youth Congress worker Shuhaib, 29, was hacked to death allegedly by CPI(M) workers at a tea stall on February 12, 2018.

The single bench ordered the CBI investigation into the case on a plea filed by the deceased's parents.

The parents had contended before the single bench that only 11 people were arrested and there was no effective probe to identify those involved in the "conspiracy behind the murder".

In its judgement, the division bench observed that the single bench order came at an early stage of the investigation and "most of the materials pertaining to the nature and contour of the investigation were not available to the court".

"In our view, premature inferences were drawn to transfer the case to the CBI," the division bench said.

It observed that during the pendency of the state government's appeal, "when the operation of the impugned judgement was stayed by this court, the investigation of the case was continued by the state agency and they have since completed the exercise and laid two final reports dated May 14, 2018, and January 21, 2019, respectively before the Criminal Court".

The writ petitioners (parents of the victim) did not, at any stage of the said investigation, approach the magistrate concerned for the any direction under Section 156(3).

"Even after the final reports were laid before the criminal court, they did not approach either the said court or this court for any direction. The said inaction of the writ petitioners impinges upon the bonafides of their claim that there was no fair investigation of the case," the division bench said.

The bench, however, made it clear that nothing in this judgement shall be construed as prejudicing the right of the writ petitioners to pursue the remedies available to them in law in relation to the investigation or trial of the case in question.

Reacting to the judgement, Shuhaib's family said they would move the Supreme Court to seek justice.

Shuhaib's father, Mohammed, alleged that the investigation had not been able to reach the real culprits involved in the killing of his son.

No justice is expected from the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the case, he said.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Congress MP K Sudhakaran questioned the state government's resistance to a CBI probe into the case.

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