SC notice to 5 suspects in Rector murder case

SC notice to 5 suspects in Rector murder case

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from five Kannada Christian activists on a plea by Karnataka against quashing of a criminal case against them in the killing of Fr K J Thomas of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the five suspects on a special leave petition filed by advocate Joseph Aristotle on behalf of the state police. The court tagged the petition along with a similar plea made by the seminary against a High Court order of August 30, 2016, that set aside the criminal proceedings against the suspects, named in a supplementary charge sheet after a delay of about two years. Advocate Sanjay Nuli, appearing for some of the suspects, took the notice on their behalf.

In its plea, the state contended that letting off the five suspects would prejudice the case against the other five suspects named in the main charge sheet. “It has resulted in miscarriage of justice and it was not in accordance with the law,” the government claimed, adding the high court  ignored the statement of witnesses and other evidence showing their complicity in the case.

According to the prosecution, the Father-Rector was killed on April 1, 2013, following a rivalry between him and Kannada Christian activists.

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