A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed an order directing a Central Bureau of Investigation-led probe into the murder of a Youth Congress worker in Kannur on February 12.
The stay comes after the state government filed a plea in court saying that the Central body didn’t have to probe the killing of the 29-year-old Youth Congress worker.
It also stated that the Special Investigating Team, led by the state police, was not swayed by any external pressure, and that 11 people had been arrested and the murder weapon had been recovered.
Just last week, a single-judge bench of the HC had ruled that the CBI should investigate the case.
The bench had observed that even though the main accused had been apprehended, the murder weapons were not recovered. They were recovered later, but the bench termed this as ‘eyewash’.
In the appeal that was submitted by the government it was stated that the court’s order for a CBI probe was based on media reports and did not examine the evidence collected by the SIT. The appeal also submitted that the SIT had not even left a chance for the accused to file a counter affidavit.
The division bench posted the case for detailed hearing on March 23.
Expressing concern, senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran said the Kannur district party committee will approach the Supreme Court against the verdict.
CPI (M) legislator AN Shamseer, who represents the Thalassery Assembly constituency in Kannur, welcomed the stay order.
"We (the CPI (M)) have nothing to fear in this case even as four of the accused belong to our party. We have removed the four from the party. The one reason why we opposed the CBI probe is because the state police have done a clean job and arrested 11 accused," said Shamseer.
Shuhaib, who was 29 years old, was hacked to death in Mattanur, Kannur, on February 12, 2018. He was the Block Secretary of the Youth Congress. His death is the latest in a series of politically motivated crimes that have rocked the state.