Kerala

Notary public made accused in Koodathayi murder case

The Kozhikode Principal Sessions Court on Friday approved the submission made by the prosecution to arraign a notary public, C. Vijayakumar, as an accused in the case of the Koodathayi serial killings.

Special Prosecutor N.K. Unnikrishnan argued that the notary public should be made an accused based on the police investigation report submitted before the court. Subsequently, Principal District Judge P. Ragini approved the submission and issued summons to Vijayakumar to appear before the court on August 24.

Previously, Mr. Unnikrishnan said the notary public had given a statement under 154 (information in cognizable offence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. But later he made a volte-face on his own statement.

Now he has been charged under 120 (B) (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 463 (forgery) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of Indian Penal Code.

Thus Vijayakumar, who allegedly stamped and approved a fake document, will become the fifth accused in the killings. The case related to prime accused Jolly Joseph allegedly finishing off two branches of the Ponnamattom ancestral family after giving them poison or cyanide-laced food or drink over a period of 14 years.

Mr. Unnikrishnan said the preliminary hearing in two of the six cases would begin only after the hearing on August 24. The preliminary hearing under Section 226 (opening case for prosecution) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is basically a legal procedure to hear the prosecution and defence sides before the court officially frames the charges and reads out the charge sheet to the accused.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 3:56:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/notary-public-made-accused-in-koodathayi-murder-case/article32356298.ece

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