Kerala

Periye case: SC refuses stay on CBI probe

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a CBI investigation into the murder of two Youth Congress workers at Periye in Kasaragod district.

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao indicated that it may not intervene if the Central agency had already made "substantial progress" in the investigation. The court said it would wait to see CBI's response to the appeal and refused to pass any interim orders.

"Let the CBI file an affidavit, then we will see," Justice Rao observed orally. The court issued notice. It scheduled the next hearing for October 26.

Kripesh and Sarathlal were hacked to death by three motorcycle-borne men in February last year. The police had arrested some suspects, including a local CPI(M) leader, A. Peethambaran.

A Single Bench of the Kerala High Court had pulled up the State police for lapses in the investigation, including not holding a forensic examination of the murder weapons. The High Court had transferred the case to the CBI.

The parents of the two youths, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, alleged that the district leaders of the CPI(M) were involved. The State government, represented by senior advocate Maninder Singh, had appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court decision to shift the case to the CBI.

Mr. Singh contended that this was not a "rarest of rare" case which needed the CBI's attention. He said the State had constituted a 20-member strong Special Investigation Team for the case. All the accused were arrested.

Mr. Singh asked why the CBI should be brought in when the State police had competently and professionally done its job. There has been no allegation of bias against the police.

Transfer of a case from the State police to the CBI on a mere perception was contrary to the law, Mr. Singh argued. If the High Court had found there was a need to carry on further investigation, it should have ordered the SIT and not shifted the entire case to a Central agency, Mr. Singh submitted.

Bail plea moved in HC

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Friday sought the CBI response on the bail plea of Subeesh, eighth accused in the case.

The counsel for Subeesh, the petitioner, submitted that the State government had no role in the case now since it was handed over to the CBI. An appeal filed before the Supreme Court is pending.

The counsel further contended that Subeesh was languishing in jail for more than two years. The government counsel argued that the accused would escape if he was released on bail.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 7:38:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/periye-case-sc-refuses-stay-on-cbi-probe/article32697744.ece

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