Kerala HC discharges KPCC chief Sudhakaran from case of conspiring to kill E P Jayarajan

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday discharged KPCC chief K Sudhakaran from a case accusing him of conspiring to kill some senior CPI(M) leaders, including present LDF convener E P Jayarajan back in 1995.
EP Jayarajan, K Sudhakaran
EP Jayarajan, K Sudhakaran

Kochi | The Kerala High Court on Tuesday discharged KPCC chief K Sudhakaran from a case accusing him of conspiring to kill some senior CPI(M) leaders, including present LDF convener E P Jayarajan back in 1995.

The High Court discharged Sudhakaran and another accused in the case, Rajeevan, saying that the allegations of criminal conspiracy against them were already investigated by Andhra Pradesh police and therefore, a second FIR registered in Kerala on the same accusations was not justified.

A case of criminal conspiracy and attempted murder was initially registered in Andhra Pradesh as Jayarajan was shot at and injured when the train he was travelling in was passing through Chirala area of that state.

Justice Ziyad Rahman A A said that as the prosecution stories in both FIRs shared a single platform and the allegations were against the same persons, therefore, the case registered in Kerala has to be treated as a second FIR which is barred under the law.

The Kerala High Court order came on a plea moved by Sudhakaran and Rajeev against a 2016 decision of a Judicial First Class Magistrate (JFCM) court rejecting their prayer to discharge them from the case.

Allowing their appeal against the JFCM court order the Kerala High Court further noted that since there is a specific bar in instituting the second FIR, the "prosecution against the petitioners (Sudhakaran and Rajeev) are vitiated, as it violates the rights of the petitioners including their fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India".

"Therefore, it has to be held that the registration of FIR in Crime No. 148/1997 (in Kerala) was not at all justifiable and consequently, all further proceedings pursuant to the same are also not legally sustainable," the HC said.

It also said that from the case records of the proceedings in Andhra Pradesh, the conspiracy charges were investigated and while a further probe was proposed against the petitioners, they were never chargesheeted.

"However, even if the same is treated as an instance of lack of proper investigation, still, the same would not justify the registration of a second FIR, but on the other hand, at the most, it could be a case where, orders for further investigation in Crime 14/1995 of Chirala Railway Police Station should have been sought," it said.

The second FIR in Kerala was registered on Jayarajan's complaint alleging that Sudhakaran and other accused met at Thycaud Guest House in Thiruvananthapuram back in 1995 and conspired to do away with the leaders of the CPI(M).

In furtherance of the alleged conspiracy, revolvers were procured and one of the guns was used by one of the accused to shoot Jayarajan, the prosecution had claimed.

Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court

One of the two accused, who were arrested by Andhra police in the case, was initially convicted by a Principal Assistant Sessions Court there for conspiracy and attempted murder.

But an appellate court there had later found him not guilty of conspiracy and attempted murder and only convicted him under the Arms Act.

The other accused, who allegedly shot at Jayarajan, in that case died before he faced trial.

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