The trial in the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case is entering the final stages with the examination of the investigators attached to the special police team beginning on Friday.
R. Narayana Pisharadi, Judge, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad cases) at Eranhipalam, will now have to examine four officers — Circle Inspector V.V. Benny, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) A.P. Shoukathali, Dy.SP Jossy Cherian, and Dy.SP K.V. Santhosh.
With this, the prosecution will complete examination of 164 prosecution witnesses. The original plan was to examine 285 witnesses. But many of them have been dropped from the list, especially to prevent the rising number of witnesses getting hostile. Nearly 52 persons have turned adverse favouring the accused.
Besides, the court has decided not to examine the magistrates who recorded statements of a few hostile witnesses under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). This was because they admitted that the magistrates had recorded their statements.
According to the prosecution, a section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] leaders in Kozhikode and Kannur districts hatched a plot and engaged a seven-member gang to kill Chandrasekharan who had walked out of the party and formed a parallel dissident outfit at Onchiyam. He was killed at Vallikad on May 4, 2012. The trial in the case began at the special court on February 11. The Kerala High Court has already ordered to complete the trial before July 31.
Initially, the special team had charge-sheeted 76 persons. However, 57 persons now faced trial. Earlier, the trial court had discharged two persons as there were no sufficient materials to proceed against them. Two others were absconding in the case. Also, the Kerala High Court in January stayed the trial proceedings against 15 accused.
Official sources said that Mr. Benny would testify pertaining to the preparation of the scene mahasars, recovery of material objects, and phone call data reports of the telecom service providers. Mr. Shoukathali and Mr. Cherian will depose regarding the arrest of the accused, while Mr. Santhosh on taking up the case from the local police, arrest of the accused, and submission of the charge-sheet on August 13, 2012.
The questioning of the accused by the Judge under Section 313 (power to examine the accused) under Cr.PC will begin soon after the deposition of the police officers. Their statements would also be recorded. After that the defence counsels will be allowed to submit their list of witnesses. Their examination and cross-examination would be completed within a few days. The next stage will be the arguments between the prosecution and the defence counsel and subsequently ending the trial. Perjury cases against the hostile witnesses will be considered after the verdict.