Accused Was Part Of Conspiracy: Kerala HC Denies Bail To Accused In Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan's Murder
The Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed the bail application to one of the accused in the murder of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan in Alappuzha last year, on the ground that the accused was part of the conspiracy behind the murder.
"Prima facie it is apparent that there are materials which suggests that the petitioner was part of conspiracy to murder the aforesaid Renjith. Therefore I am not inclined to hold that the petitioner is entitled to bail", held Justice P. Gopinath.
The allegation against the accused is that he was a party to the conspiracy and was present in the SDPI office along with other accused in the case, immediately prior to the murder. SDPI is the political outfit of the Popular Front of India.
It was argued on behalf of the accused that "..when the State Secretary of the SDPI had been murdered, it is quite natural for other party workers to gather in the party office and this by itself cannot be a ground to believe that the petitioner is part to the conspiracy".
The Bench did not accept the claim of the accused that the only allegation against him was that he committed the offence under Section 212 (harbouring an offender) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is a bailable offence.
Based on the submission of the Senior Public Prosecutor, the Court noted that "Certain statements recorded from two independent witnesses are placed before me to substantiate that the petitioner was part of the conspiracy. It is also pointed out that the digital evidence, namely the CDR details of the petitioner alone suggests that he was constantly in touch with the accused, who actually carried out the murder and this shows that the petitioner was clearly part of the conspiracy".
Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan, an active member of the Alleppey Bar Association and the State Secretary of the OBC Morcha of Bharatiya Janata Party, Kerala state was hacked to death inside his house on 19th December 2021, in front of his mother, wife and daughter.
Advocates of the Alleppey Bar Association had abstained from Court proceedings for a day, in protest against the killing, while demanding constitution of a Special Investigative Team to probe into the killing.
The Bar Council of Kerala had passed a resolution expressing anguish over the brutal killing of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan.
In addition to various Bar Councils and State Bar Associations across the country condemning the killing seeking action against the accused, the Bar Council of India had resolved to write to the Government of India through Home Ministry demanding that the matter be investigated by a Central Agency like NIA or CBI.