Glaring lapses in identification parade: SC acquits ABVP-RSS workers in 2002 TVM protest case

B Balagopal / Mathrubhumi News

Supreme Court of India | Photo: Mathrubhumi

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has acquitted ABVP-RSS workers booked over causing damage to public property amid protest against the move to de-linking pre-degree programmes from Kerala colleges in 2002. The apex court in its judgement has cited glaring lapses in identification parade conducted by police. The judgement has been delivered by the bench comprising judges Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and PS.

In 2002, the government decided to de-link pre-degree programmes from colleges and start higher secondary stream in school. ABVP-RSS workers protested against it in Thiruvananthapuram and police resorted to lathi-charge. Exasperated over this, an agitation was called up and it ended in conflict.

Amid conflict, a KSRTC staffer died after receiving a blow on his head. A case was registered but, citing lack of evidence, the Kerala High Court acquitted the accused. However, the court sentenced ABVP-RSS workers for the damage caused to public property. The Supreme Court’s judgement comes in the appeal against this verdict.

The apex court found glaring flaws in the identification conducted by police. The major findings are:

  • Number of people that can be included for the parade along with the accused is mandated in the jail manual. But, this was not followed
  • Only those having resemblance with the accused have to be included. This mandate too was flouted
  • The parade happened after a long delay and some of the witnesses were able to see the accused prior to parade

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