KERALA

Marad case: juvenile board to summon 14

Staff Reporter

Testimonies to be taken on February 2, 9



Seven persons to be summoned to identify materials

All the prosecution witnesses to be examined



Kozhikode: The Kozhikode Juvenile Justice Board has decided to issue summons to 14 persons for collecting their statements in connection with the trial of five juveniles charge-sheeted for the killing of nine fishermen at Marad seaside village on May 2, 2003. Their testimonies will be taken on February 2 and 9.

At its sitting here on Wednesday, the board comprising Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate K.V. Gopikuttan, and assisted by members Nazir Chaliyam and K. Shiny decided to re-summon seven persons to identify the material objects (swords) in connection with the trial. The fresh list of witnesses include K. Shyamala, an eye-witness, who said she saw the juveniles carrying the swords at Marad and K. Subramaniyan, who made swords for the assailants.

The Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) had earlier acquitted Subramaniyan, a blacksmith from Malappuram district, who turned approver in the case. But the court had treated his evidence as “ tainted evidence.”

Testimonies of T.V. Kamalakshan, Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department; V. Devarajan, P.P. Unnkrishnan and P. Abdul Hameed, senior officers, who were part of the investigation team during the initial stages of the case, will also be taken.

Special prosecutor P.D. Ravi submitted the list before the board. All the prosecution witnessed will be examined on February 2 and February 9.

Materials

Earlier in June 2007, the board had suspended the proceedings in the trial after Mr. Ravi moved a petition stating that material objects (swords) were required to proceed further with the trial and examination of witnesses.

During the process of trial all materials were in the custody of the Special Court at Eranhipalam.

The Special Court had pronounced the judgment on January 15 sentencing 63 guilty in the case. It had also ordered that the material objects be transferred to the board.

The board obtained the material on January 16.

Several months ago, the High Court of Kerala had ordered that the materials should be transferred to the board only after the Special Court completed all proceedings in connection with the trial.

Witnesses

Nearly, 80 witnesses had been examined by the board so far in connection with the trial. The prosecution had submitted a list to examine 147 witnesses in the case. Among those who deposed included the former Kozhikode Collector T.O. Sooraj, the former Kozhikode Revenue Divisional Officer P. Balan, the former Kozhikode Tahsildar P. Koyakutty and the former Beypore village officer K.V. Sundaran Nair.

One of the juveniles charge-sheeted had fled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Later, the board had directed the parents of an absconding juvenile, to produce their son before the board within 20 days. Since the parents failed to produce their son the surety amount was recovered from them.

Some police personnel attached to the Kozhikode Special Branch are also facing charges in connection with the juvenile securing a passport to flee to Saudi Arabia.

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