The defence counsel in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case on Friday submitted a list of 14 witnesses, including representatives of three Malayalam newspapers, to be examined before the trial court here.
The newspaper representatives – Deepu Ravi, Managing Editor, Kerala Kaumudi; Philip Mathew, Managing Editor, Malayala Manorama, and M. Kesava Menon, Editor, Mathrubhumi – are to be examined to verify the publication of pictures of the accused in their newspapers.
The list has been submitted under Section 233 (entering upon defence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. R. Narayana Pisharadi, judge, Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad Cases), will begin examining the witnesses from September 24.
The case pertained to a seven-member gang, allegedly hired by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), hacking to death the Revolutionary Marxist Party leader at Vallikkad, near Onchiyam, on May 4, 2012.
The defence counsel had alleged that the pictures of the accused had appeared in the newspapers even before the conduct of the identification parade. If the prosecution admits to the publication of pictures in the newspapers, the court will consider this as evidence. Subsequently, the witnesses will be exempted from appearing in court.
Two Assistant Engineers of the Kerala State Electricity Board at Muttungal (Vadakara) and Koothuparamba will be examined for proving the disruption of power supply at Orkatteri and Vallikkad between 9 and 9.30 p.m. on May 4, 2012 and at Kottuparamba between 8 and 8.30 p.m. on May 5, 2012.
Earlier, prosecution witnesses had deposed that they had seen the accused in street lights on the day Chandrasekharan was killed and three accused entering the Koothuparamba area committee office of the CPI(M) the next day.
Another defence witness is the executive officer of the Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswamy temple, Thalassery. He will be examined to confirm regarding a specific ritual at the temple, as one of the prosecution witnesses had testified that he had gone to the temple to conduct Santhana Gopala puja.
A returning officer of three-tier local body polls in 2010 will be examined to verify whether an eyewitness, T.P. Rameshan, in the case was an activist of the RMP. Rameshan had earlier deposed before the court that he was not a member of the RMP.
A Right to Information Act document revealed that Rameshan was a polling agent of the RMP during the elections. Similarly, K. Vasu, another polling agent, would also be examined as defence witness.
A photographer, T.M. Bhaskaran, and CPI(M) worker V.P. Gopalakrishnan will be examined for proving that the 14th accused P. Mohanan had participated at a party programme at the Onchiyam Martyrdom Square on April 2.
The secretary of the Vallikulangara Milk Society will be examined for proving that a prosecution witness, who had overheard the accused discussing plans to kill Chandrasekharan on April 2, had actually been engaged in some work at the milk society.
A nodal officer of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has also been named defence witness to corroborate that one of the investigators, A.P. Shoukathali, Deputy Superintendent of Police, had not been in Thalassery when he had arrested an accused.