Accused in human sacrifice case move Kerala HC against police custody


Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The three accused in the sensational human sacrifice case in Kerala, in which two women were allegedly killed in a brutal manner, on Thursday moved the high court seeking to quash a magisterial court order granting their custody to the police probing the matter for 12 days.

In their plea, the accused Mohammed Shafi (52), Bhagaval Singh (68), a massage therapist and his wife Laila (59), also sought directive to the state police chief not to parade them and also not to disclose their confession statement to the media and public till filing of chargesheet.

The accused, in the plea filed through lawyer B A Aloor, also sought permission to meet lawyers during the police custody period or investigation.

The accused alleged that the investigating team has published wrong information in order to defame their dignity before the public at large, but the trial court has failed to consider these aspects in proper sense which ultimately resulted in granting their 12 days police custody to the investigating agency, despite being strongly opposed by them.

They further alleged that it is a passion for certain investigating officers to disseminate to the media piecemeal or full information regarding the progress of investigation.

They argued that all concerned should realize that once a case involving the commission of a cognizable offence has been registered and the FIR forwarded to the magistrate concerned, the matter is sub judice and no police officer has the right to leak out information regarding the outcome of investigation until the final report is eventually filed before the court.

But the investigating agency violated very norms even before producing them before the court, the accused said in the plea.

A court here on October 13 had granted Kerala police custody of the three accused in the case for detailed interrogation.

In the custody application filed before the court here, police have said the accused need to be further interrogated to probe whether there was any other reason behind the human sacrifice.

The police said they need to investigate whether there are more victims of this horrific crime.

The chopped body parts of the deceased were exhumed from the premises of the couple's house at Elanthoor village in Pathanamthitta on October 11.

The first woman went missing on September 26 and the probe led to Shafi. On further interrogating him, police found that the trio had earlier murdered the second victim in a similar manner in June.

PTI

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