Extension to be sought from High Court to pronounce judgment

The Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad cases) here, trying the murder case of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, is unlikely to give its verdict by July 31 as directed by the High Court of Kerala.

It is reliably learnt that R. Narayana Pisharadi, judge, will soon seek extension from the High Court for pronouncing the judgment. “So far the trial court has not sought permission in this matter,” a top source told The Hindu here on Saturday.

At present, only the deposition of 166 prosecution witnesses, including chief investigating officer K.V. Santhosh and Deputy Superintendents of Police (Dy.SP) Jossy Cherian and A.P. Shoukathali have been almost completed since the trial began on February 11. The examination of Mr. Santhosh will continue on Monday as well.

The cross examination of Mr. Cherian and Mr. Santhosh will begin only from July 23. This was after the senior defence counsels have sought a week’s time for studying the case and they will also be engaged in other courts. However, the court has asked them to complete the cross examination within a week.

The case related to a section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] leaders in Kozhikode and Kannur districts hatching a plot and engaging 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.

Sources said that it was humanely impossible to give the verdict stipulated by the High Court. Soon after the cross examination, the court has to start questioning the accused under Section 313 (power to examine the accused) under Code of Criminal Procedure. Their statements will have to be recorded.

Subsequently, the defence counsels will be allowed to submit their list of witnesses on behalf of the accused to adduce evidence, if any. Their examination and cross-examination will take a week. The next stage will be the arguments between the prosecution and the defence counsels that will take another week.

At least two weeks are needed to prepare the verdict. That means, the verdict could be pronounced only in September as of now, the sources said.

The delay in pronouncing the verdict, however, would certainly throw up a challenge for the prosecution also.

Ten out of the 56 accused now facing trial are remanded in Kozhikode district jail. They will seek bail citing that they were in judicial custody for the past one year. Thus the prosecution would have to oppose their bail at any cost as some of them were hardcore criminals involved in other grave offences, the sources said.

  • Deposition of 166 witnesses almost completed

  • Verdict likely to be pronounced in September