HC seeks status of further investigation in 2017 Kodanad heist-cum-murder case

Accused Valayar Manoj says police had been prolonging trial without showing any progress

September 02, 2022 11:44 pm | Updated September 03, 2022 07:55 am IST - Chennai

Petitioner says the trial court had been regularly adjourning the case at the request of police since August 2021.

Petitioner says the trial court had been regularly adjourning the case at the request of police since August 2021. | Photo Credit: File photo

The Madras High Court on Friday called for a status report on the ongoing further investigation into the 2017 Kodanad estate heist-cum-murder case. Since the prosecution claimed to have unravelled many new facts, the court wanted to know the status of the probe by September 16.

Justice N. Sathish Kumar passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by Manoj, alias S. Valayar Manoj, arrayed as the second accused in the case.

The petitioner insisted upon speedy trial and complained of the trial being prolonged due to the further investigation, taken up in August last year.

He brought it to the notice of the court that the police had completed the investigation and filed a final report before the Judicial Magistrate at Kotagiri on November 29, 2017. Thereafter, the case was committed to the Sessions Court at Udhagamandalam and the latter took it on file on January 4, 2018.

On October 31, 2019, charges were framed against all the accused and summons were issued to the witnesses. Examination of 41 prosecution witnesses concluded on March 25, 2021 and when the examination of defence witnesses was about to begin, the police began conducting further investigation.

Since August 2021, the trial court had been regularly adjourning the case at the request of the police though no progress whatsoever had been reported regarding the further investigation, the petitioner said and accused the police of dragging on the trial endlessly for reasons best known to them.

“Due to pendency of the case against me for more than four years, I am unable to secure any job for my livelihood and my survival is very difficult. I am a native of Kerala and have come to the Nilgiris only for the case pending in Udhagamandalam. I am put to great mental agony and unable to live peacefully,” he contended.

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