In a setback to the state's ruling CPI-M, the Kerala High Court on Monday directed that a murder case in which two top party leaders are accused be shifted from Kannur to the CBI court here.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in February, had filed the final charge sheet against senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader P. Jayarajan and young party legislator T.V. Rajesh in the February 2012 Abdul Shukoor murder case.
Hearing the CBI's plea, the high court ordered transfer of the trial from the Tellichery court, where the CBI had initially filed the charge sheet, to the CBI court in Kochi.
While Jayarajan has been charged under Sections 302 (murder) and 124 b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, Rajesh has been charged under the latter section.
Both leaders were arrested in the case in August 2012 and sent to jail before they managed to secure bail.
Jayarajan, who had unsuccessfully contested the recent Lok Sabha elections from the Vadakara constituency and is also a former legislator, has been named as 32nd accused, while Rajesh is the 33rd.
The first six accused are CPI-M youth wing activists who are charged with the actual murder of Shukoor. An activist of the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a constituent of the Congress-led UDF, the 22-year-old Shukoor was killed by alleged CPI-M activists in Kannur in full public glare in February 2012.
When Jayarajan was arrested in August 2012, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, then the party's state Secretary, had called for a state-wide shutdown the next day.