Case related to murder of ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar in 2007

First Additional District and Sessions Judge K.P. Indira on Monday ordered that one of the prosecution’s witnesses in the ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar murder case be put on trial on the charges of conspiracy and murder.

In her order, Ms. Indira said there was ample evidence to implicate prosecution witness number 79, ‘Advocate’ Sunil, alias ‘Para’ Sunil, as an accused. She ordered Sunil to surrender before the court on March 20.

Earlier, special public prosecutor Sajan Prasad had filed a petition in the court under section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) seeking permission to try Sunil as an accused in the underworld-linked highway murder.

Mobile connections

In its charge sheet, the police had told the court that one of the main accused in the case, Om Prakash, had used two mobile phone connections registered in the name of Sunil to ‘almost relentlessly’ communicate with the rest of the accused before and after the crime.

(An armed gang had ambushed Krishnakumar’s car with a crude bomb that exploded on impact. The gang then chased and hacked him to death in a piece of marshy land abutting the congested National Highway bypass near Chakkai at 11.30 a.m. on February 20, 2007).

Statement

In his statement to the police, Sunil had said Om Prakash had borrowed his phone on February 19 and returned it on February 20 and he had absolutely no part in the crime or its conspiracy.

He stated he was a lawyer and hence entitled to officially communicate with his clients, including Om Prakash.

The police had said in the charge sheet that Sunil had housed Karate Suresh, one of Krishnakumar’s killers, under a false name in a lodge in the city.

However, the police did not name Sunil as an accused in the case on the ground that section 126 of the Evidence Act gave him the freedom as a lawyer to communicate with his clients and such communication was of a privileged nature and could not be adduced as evidence in a court of law.

During cross examination, Sunil told the court that he was not an enrolled lawyer, but a businessman.

Moreover, the owner of the lodge, in which Suresh stayed, told the court that he had housed the accused at the instance of Sunil.

The prosecution case was that the accused killed ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar to further their business interests in the district, mainly reclamation of wetlands for construction. For this, they mustered gangsters who had previous scores to settle with ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar.

The accused allegedly plotted the murder, funded its execution, and provided safe houses to the assailants.

The prosecution’s stance was that case had a direct bearing on public peace, as the victim and accused persons were feuding gang leaders who headed rival factions in the district’s politically connected underworld.