Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe into the murder of Youth Congress activist Shuhaib. The court said the CBI could start afresh or continue from where the police stopped.
Coming down heavily on the police for its shoddy probe, the court expressed disappointment over the inquiry and directed the police to keep off the case.
The conspiracy angle was never unearthed in political murders that happened in Kannur, the court observed.
The court's rap comes on a day when chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterated in the assembly his government's decision not to press for a CBI inquiry into the murder.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the parents of Shuhaib seeking a CBI probe. State attorney K V Sohan briefed the court about the progress of the investigation. The government submitted that all the accused had been arrested and there was no need for another probe.
The court then asked why the weapon used to murder Shuhaib could not be recovered though all the accused had been arrested. The court also pointed out foul play in the way some weapons were discovered in the absence of the accused.
The court questioned the government's stand not to hand over the probe to the CBI. "The court has the right to transfer the probe to the CBI," justice Kamal Pasha said. "In the past too, I have transferred probes to the CBI," he added.
The government, which never had any objections in earlier cases, is now showing stiff resistance against a CBI probe, the court said.
The CBI had earlier informed the court that it was ready to take up the probe.
Welcoming the court's stance, Shuhaib's father Muhammad said he was sure of getting justice from the judiciary.
Setback to LDF
Opposition Congress led UDF and BJP said that the Kerala high court's order was a setback to the LDF government.
"The High Court, by ordering a CBI probe, has virtually expressed no confidence in the investigation by the state police," leader of the opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said.
Chennithala said the High Court order had vindicated the UDF's demand that the charges against the accused be framed under provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAPA) Act.
He also alleged that there was outside interference in the investigation by the state police.
BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan demanded that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan give up the home portfolio in the wake of the High Court order.
He said a point to be noted was that the court passed the order hours after Vijayan stated in the assembly that there was no need for a CBI probe in the case.
"Vijayan should relinquish the home portfolio as the High Court has criticised the investigation of the case by the state police,' Kummanam said.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the party was not afraid of a CBI probe.
"Let them hold an impartial probe," he said.
Kodiyeri maintained that the state police probe into the case was progressing in the right direction.
It was not known why the High Court reached such a conclusion to order a CBI probe into the case, he said.