The Kerala High Court has directed a sessions court in Palakkad to expedite the trial in the case regarding the killing of an RSS worker who was hacked to death in November last year in the district. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas issued the direction to the sessions court while granting bail to one of the accused in the case, who is alleged to have conspired to commit the murder and also harboured three of the main accused.
The grant of the relief to the accused was opposed by the prosecution, which argued that after the murder of A Sanjith, two more killings took place in that district in April this year and the situation there was volatile. The prosecution contended that in these circumstances, release of the accused would create a serious law and order problem in that district. The High Court, however, was of the view that since the accused was in detention since January this year and also taking into consideration the nature of allegations against him, he ought to be granted bail. Therefore, the High Court allowed him to be released on bail subject to his executing a bond for Rs 50,000 with two solvent sureties each for the like sum.
The court also directed the accused to cooperate with the trial and detailed a few conditions on which the bail was granted, including that the accused is not allowed to enter Palakkad except to appear before the court, and that he is not allowed to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence. The High Court made it clear that violation of any of these conditions could lead to cancellation of bail of the accused.
"Taking note of the precarious situation as submitted to be prevailing in the locality, I am of the view that the request of the learned Additional Director General of Prosecution to expedite the trial is justified. Accordingly, I direct the Sessions Court, Palakkad, before whom the case is pending consideration, to take steps to expedite the trial," Justice Bechu Kurian said.
Sanjith, a 27-year-old RSS worker, was hacked to death on November 15 last year while he was taking his wife to her workplace. Police later arrested several persons, including an officer-bearer of the Popular Front of India (PFI), in the case. The BJP and Sangh Parivar organisations have alleged that the activists of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political offshoot of PFI, were behind the broad daylight murder.
Subsequently, the police, during its investigation into the murder of PFI leader Subair (43) in Palakkad in April this year, had found that he was killed to allegedly avenge the murder of Sanjith. Police had also claimed that the PFI leader was killed by RSS workers who were friends of Sanjith.
Seven persons have been arrested in the Subair murder case. Subair's murder on April 15 had led to the retaliatory killing of RSS leader SK Srinivasan (45) on April 16 in Palakkad, police had said.