The Additional Sessions Court in Mavelikkara of Kerala has found all 15 accused in the case guilty of the murder of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan in Allapuzha of Kerala by workers of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in December, 2021.

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.

Additional Sessions Judge VG Sridevi pronounced the judgment of conviction today. Out of the 15 accused who faced trial, accused numbers 1 to 8 who entered the house of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan to commit the murder have been convicted under Section 302 of IPC. Accused numbers 9 to 12 who were standing guard outside his house have been convicted under Section 302 read with Section 149 of IPC. Accused numbers 13 to 15 have been convicted for being involved in the conspiracy towards the murder under Section 302 coupled with Section 120B of IPC. Accused numbers 1 to 12 have also been convicted under the Arms Act.

Speaking to Verdictum, Advocate Prathap G Padickal, the Special Public Prosecutor in the case, said that 56 antemortem injuries were inflicted on the body of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan. 156 witnesses were examined by the prosecution and around 1000 documents and more than 100 material objects were marked during the trial. Questioning under Section 313 CrPC runs to 6000 pages.

The hearing on sentencing is to take place on Monday. "As per the prosecution, it is a rarest of rare of cases because the offence was so brutal in nature. Maximum punishment should be awarded to the accused", Advocate Prathap Padickal said.

The trial of the case was transferred by the Kerala High Court from Alappuzha Court to Mavelikkara Court after the accused contended that the deceased was an Advocate practicing in that Court and the Bar in that Court had refused to represent the accused. The accused challenged the said order before the Supreme Court seeking transfer of trial to Ernakulam Court instead.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the accused seeking transfer of trial to Ernakulam in November last year.

The gruesome killing of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivas had invoked strong reactions among the legal fraternity across the country. 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.

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association and the State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh had also demanded strong action against those behind the killing of the Advocate.

The Bar Council of Kerala had passed a resolution expressing anguish over the killing of the Advocate and demanded action against Ranjith's killers.

Advocates of the Alleppey Bar Association had abstained from Court proceedings in protest against the killing, while demanding the constitution of a Special Investigative Team to probe into the killing.

The Kerala High Court had earlier dismissed bail applications of different accused in the case.