Existing case on T.P. Chandrasekharan murder ‘may get derailed’

The State government is unlikely to order a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam here on May 4.

Top government sources told The Hindu on Friday that the Home Department had got legal opinion that handing over the case to the CBI for further investigation would derail the existing case. A special investigation team headed by Additional Director General of Police (Crimes) Vinson M. Paul, which probed the murder case, is already looking into the angle of wider conspiracy.

A charge sheet was submitted by the investigation team at the Vadakara court on August 13 naming 76 accused, including district-level leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kozhikode and Kannur, for hatching the conspiracy and engaging a hired gang to kill Chandrasekharan on May 4.

Besides, a separate charge sheet was filed in the same court that a section of CPI(M) leaders had plotted to kill Chandrasekharan in August 2009 and employed a killer-gang to finish him off in the months that followed.

Cabinet to discuss

However, the issue would be discussed in the Cabinet in the wake of demands, especially from K.K. Rema, wife of Chandrashekaran and the RMP, for a CBI probe. “We have put across the matter on all legal aspects to Chandrasekharan’s family,” they said.

Legal experts had pointed out, quoting an order of the Division Bench of the Supreme Court on April 29, 1998 in the Indian Space Research Organisation espionage case, that a probe by a different investigation agency in a case investigated by an agency would not be legally tenable.

Speedy trial

By ordering a CBI probe, the government would be unwisely admitting that the State police have not successfully carried out the probe. Besides, those who have been charged and remanded in judicial custody would get released on bail. The State is examining the case in a “practical and logically way.”

“No court will allow registering two first information reports in a case where a charge sheet has been filed. Now we are also proceeding towards a stage of carrying out the trial in a speedy manner. That is our immediate priority. At the same time, the special team will carry out the probe regarding wider conspiracy after getting fresh evidence,” the sources said.

Incidentally, the investigation team has not submitted an affidavit in court under Section 173 (8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure that is mandatory for further investigation. Investigators themselves admit that they find it difficult to prove the direct conspiracy of more CPI(M) leaders in the meticulously planned murder, the sources said.

More In: Kerala | National | States | News