Ex-IGP gets life imprisonment in Naxalite A. Varghese murder case

New Delhi, Oct 29 (ANI): Former Inspector-General of Police K Lakshmana, who was convicted by a CBI court for the murder of Naxalite leader A Varghese 40 years ago, was sentenced to life term.

The prosecution had sought death penalty for 74-year-old Lakshmana claiming that it was a very rare case of the police shooting a person dead in custody.

The judge also directed Lakshmana to pay a fine of Rs 10,000, to be given to the family of Varghese.

Earlier, public prosecutor, Vaikom Purshothamana Nair, urged the court to give the accused the maximum punishment of death penalty as this was the "rarest of rare case" as a common man was branded as Naxalite, taken to Thirunelly forests and shot dead in cold blood with his hands tied.

The case was earlier closed by the local police as a case of death in police encounter. Subsequently, in 1998 a constable claimed that he had shot dead Varghese in police custody under the orders of his superior officers.

Kerala high court then directed CBI to investigate the matter. Accordingly the case was registered on March 31, 999 and investigation taken up after 29 years of the incident.

During the investigation, most of the documents including the police records such as FIR, Post Mortem Report and Final Reports could not be recovered. However, the extensive investigation of CBI revealed that Varghese was killed in the police custody by said constable on the orders of the then Dy. SP and the then DIG, Calicut.

Accordingly, a charge sheet was filed in the court on December 16, 2002 against the then DIG, Calicut (later DGP, Kerala), the then Dy SP (later IGP) and the constable. All of them had retired from the service by then.

The accused agitated the matter on number of occasions before the High Court and he Supreme Court praying for their discharge but their prayers were dismissed.

During the course of trial accused constable expired in November, 2006. By Rajesh Gaur (ANI)

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