LDF govt spent Rs 90 lakh to fight case in Kerala HC over handing over Periya murder case to CBI

An RTI document said the Kerala government paid Rs 88 lakh to three advocates who appeared during three different stages of the case
LDF govt spent Rs 90 lakh to fight case in Kerala HC over handing over Periya murder case to CBI

An RTI document has said that the LDF government spent Rs 90,92,337 during the legal proceedings challenging the Kerala High Court’s verdict of handing over the Periya double murder case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

According to reports, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) member Babuji Esho held a press conference, informing that the Kerala government paid Rs 88 lakh to three advocates. These three advocates appeared during three different stages of the case.

Reports point out that senior counsel Maninder Singh was paid Rs 60 lakh. He appeared in court for just four days and air travel, accommodation, food and other miscellaneous expenses amounted to Rs 2,92,337.

Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the Kerala High Court verdict and ordered that CBI should investigate the Periya murder case. The apex court rejected the Kerala government’s plea against the Kerala High Court order, handing over the case to CBI. The state government had been opposing the CBI probe in the case, especially since the Bureau has issued several summonses demanding the case diary from the Crime Branch.

The Periya case pertained to the twin murder of Congress members Kripesh and Sarath Lal in Periya in Kasargod in February 2019. They were on a motorcycle as it happened. Following the allegations and problems, the parents of the victims had filed a plea with the Kerala High Court to pass the case to CBI. The HC invoked the rare Section 91 of the CrPC to hand over the case files to the Bureau. However, the Kerala government moved a division bench against the order, but that failed as well.

On the other hand, while the single bench had rejected the Crime Branch’s findings, the division bench noted that the trial court could consider both the Crime Branch charge sheet and the CBI findings. However, the agency couldn’t do anything until the division bench had approved the single bench order, and when it did happen, the state government filed a plea with the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the opposition had alleged the government of spending taxpayer’s money on pleas trying to save the accused and stalling the case.

Reacting to the apex court’s verdict, the families of the victims welcomed the order and said that they were relieved.

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