The Kerala High Court has admitted the state government’s appeal for a re-investigation and retrial in the death of two minor sisters from Walayar. The state government’s appeal also sought setting aside of the 1st Additional Sessions Court’s earlier acquittal of all the accused.
Kerala government had moved the Kerala High Court on Wednesday with an appeal, stating that there was no coordination between the investigating agencies and the prosecution. The written statement also claimed that the Palakkad Court’s Order was ridden with ‘illegality and manifest errors’ and said that ‘the lower court ought to have found that the oral testimony of the witnesses was the substantial evidence in the case’.
The appeal also places the blame squarely on the Special Public prosecutor in the case saying she failed to use the testimony of the witnesses despite the investigating recording the same. The statement added that incriminatory material against the accused was made available and the retrial can use it to get a conviction for the accused.
The Kerala HC has sent notices to the accused and will now wait for their responses. The HC will also hear the arguments put forth by the Kerala government seeking a re-trial. Terming the lower court's judgment as ‘perverse’, the government affidavit mentions how the family of the two sisters has also sought a retrial into their deaths.
The government's argument against the acquittal also contended that in cases where grave offenses are involved, failure of either the investigating agency or the prosecution cannot be the basis of the acquittal of the accused.
The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had been under immense pressure after 1st Additional Sessions Judge, Palakkad acquitted all accused in the case. Vijayan who also handles the home portfolio had been accused of allowing a shoddy investigation into the case to shield the accused.
Protests had erupted in Kerala over the acquittal of the accused in the 2017 death of two minor girls. Student wings from CPI and BJP had protested outside the Secretariat in Thiruvanthapuram demanding justice over the acquittal of the accused in the rape and murder of the girls. The three accused – V Madhu (27), M Madhu (27) and Shibu (43) – were acquitted over lack of evidence.