The Kerala High Court has dismissed the bail application of accused Nos. 13 to 17 in the murder of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan in Alappuzha last year

The Court has noted the submission of the prosecution that the accused were part of the team to execute the murder if accused Nos. 1 to 12 were to fail in carrying out the act.

"It is alleged that the investigation conducted thus far also reveals that there was also a plan that if the attempt to murder the aforesaid Ranjith by the accused 1 to 12 did not succeed, another group including the petitioners herein would execute the murder", the Bench of Justice Gopinath P. notes in his order.

The prosecution also argued that the accused were in constant touch with accused Nos. 1 to 12 who actually carried out the murder and that the prosecution has the statement of independent witness and digital evidence to substantiate the same.

The accused have been charged under Sections 143, 147, 148, 324, 326, 341, 354, 506, 427, 118, 120(B), 201 and 302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code.

Advocate Suresh Babu Thomas, the former Additional Director General of Prosecution & Additional State Public Prosecutor, along with Advocate Nandagopal Kurup appeared for the accused while, P. Narayanan, Additional Public Prosecutor appeared for the Prosecution.

It was contended on behalf of the accused that they were not the persons who are alleged to have committed the offence and that they have no part in the conspiracy. The accused also submitted that the only allegation that could be levelled against the petitioners is that under Section 212 of the IPC.

Earlier, the same Bench had rejected the bail application of accused No. 20 in the case since the accused was 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 the 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 the Home Ministry demanding that the matter be investigated by a Central Agency like NIA or CBI.

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