In a setback for the LDF government, the Supreme Court has ordered that the Periya murder case must be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 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 on 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. “We have been praying since the single bench, and the division bench had given its verdict. No matter how much the government tried to save the accused, the Supreme Court has recognised this and has given a suitable verdict,” said Sathyanarayanan, father of Sarath. Kripesh’s father Krishnan said, “We are thankful to the Supreme Court for the verdict, the Congress for their support, and also the advocates who represented us in the case.”