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Sentencing in TP Chandrasekheran murder case on January 28

Thursday, 23 January 2014 - 7:29pm IST | Place: KOZHIKODE | Agency: IANS

A special additional sessions court here on Thursday heard both the prosecution and defence over the punishment to be handed out to 12 guilty in the TP Chandrasekheran murder case and posted the sentencing for January 28.

The court on Wednesday let off 24 people and found the 12, including three leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), guilty of the crime.

After the court announcement, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government has decided to seek legal advice on whether the case can be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a fresh probe.

"We will only go by the advice we get in this matter," said Chandy.

On Thursday, the prosecution argued that this was a brutal murder and no leniency should be shown to the guilty as the victim's face was slashed using swords. The defence, however, wanted some consideration when the punishment is announced.

Chandrasekheran, 51, who launched the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was hacked 51 times by assailants on May 4, 2012, when he was returning home on his motorcycle. A total of 76 people were named in the charge sheet filed by the special investigation team of police.

The guilty include three district-level CPI-M leaders, including 64-year-old PK Kunjuanandan.

Kunjuanandan requested leniency, saying he was old and suffering from various ailments and that his wife will be alone.

The prosecution on Thursday asked the court for death penalty to those who conspired, similar to the sentences handed out to the conspirators in the Indira Gandhi assassination.

Among those named in the charge sheet, two are still untraced and on the run while the high court has suspended the trial against 15 people.

A total of 22 people have been discharged after the trial began, one died during the trial while the remaining 36 were arraigned as accused. Of the 36, the court on Wednesday let off 24 people and found the 12 guilty.

A popular leader in and around Kozhikode, Chandrasekheran took on his former party CPI-M from which he was ousted in 2008 and flayed its ideological stand.

KK Rema, wife of the slain leader, is also planning to approach the court seeking a CBI probe, saying the real conspirators - the top leadership of the CPI-M - have been left out.

She said such a heinous crime would not have happened without the knowledge of the top leadership.

The CPI-M expressed happiness that P Mohanan, husband of CPI-M legislator KK Lathika, and three other prominent district-level leaders were let off.

It said the party's stand has become clear that it had no role in the murder.

However, party leaders had no answer when asked about members like Kunjuanandan and two others figuring among the guilty.

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