A ten-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were abducted by a call taxi driver Mohanakrishnan on October 30, 2010.

Following the withdrawal of the fourth defence counsel Vadivel from the siblings' murder case on Thursday, Judge of the Mahila Court M.N. Subramanian adjourned the witness examination and posted the next hearing in the case to June 18.

Mr.Vadivel is the fourth defence counsel to withdraw from the case. So far, all the four counsels had stated that they were withdrawing because of personal reasons.

A ten-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were abducted by a call taxi driver Mohanakrishnan on October 30, 2010.

The bodies of the children were recovered from the PAP canal on October 30 and 31. On the same day, the police arrested Mohanakrishnan and his associate Manoharan. The accused had sexually abused the minor girl and physically tortured the boy and dumped their bodies in the canal.

City Police took custody of the accused on November 8, 2010 and on November 9, the first accused in the case was shot dead by the police in an alleged encounter.

Police said that the accused tried to hijack the police vehicle to Kerala in a bid to escape.

Cases

Cases were registered against both of them under sections 120 B (Conspiracy), 364 A (kidnap for ransom), 376 (sexual assault) and 302 (murder) and 201 (concealment of evidence) of Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, nearly 121 prosecution witnesses were listed and 60 documents marked as material evidences besides filing of a 500-page charge sheet in the case.

In order to ensure a faster pace of assistance from the prosecution and undivided attention in this case, the State had appointed a special public prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the court had also turned down a plea made by the accused for a re-trial in the case.

Prosecution cited the lack of provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code for a re-trial, when there had not been any inclusion of additional accused or fresh witnesses.

When the Coimbatore Lawyers resolved not to appear for the accused in a heinous crime, the second accused went undefended. The Coimbatore District Legal Services Authority appointed a counsel Irudayaraj. After a brief period, Irudayaraj withdrew from the case. The next defence counsel Rajendran also withdrew from the case.

The third counsel Kalaiselvan appointed by the authority was not present at the court on Monday and the accused sought a change of counsel.

Later, the legal services authority appointed Vadivel as a defence counsel for the accused, who also withdrew from the case.

Once, the next defence counsel was appointed enabling resumption of trial, the verdict could be expected in 30 to 40 days time, prosecution sources said.

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