The Kerala High Court had expedited the trial in the case of the murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Sanjith A. in Palakkad in November 2021, allegedly by workers of the Popular Front of India (PFI).

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas expedited the trial, accepting the request of the Additional Director General of Prosecution on behalf of the state, while granting bail to an accused in the case.

Advocate Sunny Mathew appeared for the 13th accused petitioner in the case, Shamseer, who is accused of conspiracy to murder Sanjith and is in custody since January 2, 2022.

Senior Advocate Grasahious Kuriakose, the Addl. DGP who appeared for the prosecution opposed the bail application and submitted that the incident leading to the death of Sanjith is part of a series of murders that had rocked the State. It was submitted that an attempt to murder Sanjith in July, 2020, was followed by an attempt to murder one Zakhir Hussain on in July 2021 and concluded with the murder of Sanjith in November, 2021, and all of it reveals "a preplanned political murder".

The prosecution also submitted that even after the murder of Sanjith, two more murders took place and that thus, the conspiracy in committing murders of political rivals is explicit.

As far as granting bail to the accused, it was argued that, "the situation in Palakkad is very volatile and tense and release of the petitioner would create a serious problem of law and order". He also argued that "the release of even one of the accused may be sufficient to trigger yet another series of murders and, therefore, considering the complex nature of the conspiracy and the events that occurred thereafter, the petitioner ought not to be released on bail".

"While precise allegations have been levelled against the remaining accused, there is a conspicuous absence regarding any conspiracy against the petitioner. However, a vague involvement of the petitioner in the conspiracy, is mentioned towards the later half of the charge", the Court observed.

While releasing the accused on bail with conditions, the Court ordered, "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 Addl. Director General of Prosecution to expedite the trial is justified. Accordingly, I direct the learned First Additional Sessions Court, Palakkad, before whom S.C.No.662/2022 is pending consideration, to take steps to expedite the trial in the said case".

Cause Title: Shamseer v. State of Kerala & Anr.

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