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Ancheri Baby Political Murder: Kerala High Court Acquits Former Minister Mani And Two Other Accused

Hannah M Varghese
18 March 2022 8:15 AM GMT
Ancheri Baby Political Murder: Kerala High Court Acquits Former Minister Mani And Two Other Accused
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The Kerala High Court on Friday allowed the discharge application moved by former minister M.M Mani and two others where they sought to quash the proceedings pending against them in the scandalous Ancheri Baby murder case of 1982. Kuttappan and O.G. Madhavan were the other two accused who have been discharged of all charges today. Justice Sunil Thomas acquitted the trio setting aside...

The Kerala High Court on Friday allowed the discharge application moved by former minister M.M Mani and two others where they sought to quash the proceedings pending against them in the scandalous Ancheri Baby murder case of 1982. Kuttappan and O.G. Madhavan were the other two accused who have been discharged of all charges today. 

Justice Sunil Thomas acquitted the trio setting aside the decision of the trial court dismissing their plea to drop the charges against them in the case finding that the witnesses were not credible. 

"...if the materials gathered by the investigating agency and relied on by them, contradict each of the other materials, so as to affect the substratum of the case, though materials indicate offence but, as a whole, when both are let in contradict itself thereby strike at the very root of the prosecution case, there is no reason as to why the prosecution should be permitted to proceed with such a trial, which would end in failure."

The Court upon examination of the evidence observed that while few witnesses deposed touching on the complicity of the newly arrayed accused, they also reaffirmed the presence of some of the present prosecution witnesses, who earlier stood arrayed as accused.

"This not only strike at the very base of the prosecution case but tells upon the credibility of them. With these material, a trial of accused is not possible." 

Senior Advocates S. Sreekumar and B. Raman Pillai appeared for the petitioners in the matter. Special Government Pleader S.U Nazar made appearance for the State. 

Ancheri Baby, Youth Congress leader was shot dead allegedly by CPM activists on November 13, 1982. Around nine persons were charge-sheeted. However, Mani's name was not mentioned then. 

A trial court had acquitted all the nine accused in the case in 1985. Later in 2012, Mani delivered a controversial speech in Thodupuzha, famously referred to as the '1,2,3' speech. In his speech, the Communist leader had subtly gloated about the CPI(M) murdering as many as 13 political rivals:

"When Vayalar Ravi was the Home Minister, hundreds of cases were registered against us. We made a list of 13 people...1, 2, 3, 4. First, we killed three among them; one was shot dead, one stabbed, and one beaten to death." 

He was serving as the District Secretary of CPI (M) when he made this remark. This sparked controversy throughout the State, and the case was brought up again for further investigation. 

The Thodupuzha police soon registered a fresh FIR against Mani based on his speech. The prosecution case was that the political murder was a consequence of the conspiracy plotted by rivals Mani, Jayachandran with their associates. 

Case Title: M.M. Mani & Ors. v. State of Kerala 

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 132

Click Here To Read/Download The Order



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