The Kerala government has canceled the order to appoint a special public prosecutor (SPP) to conduct the trial in the case pertaining to mob lynching of tribal youth Madhu at Chindakki in Attappady, citing the inability to afford the expenses.
Following the reversal of the order, the prosecution in the Madhu murder case will be conducted on behalf of the state by the Special Prosecutor attached to the SC/ST Special Court, Mannarkkad. Since the individual designated as the public prosecutor would be representing the state in various cases of which trials are underway, he would not be able to fully devote himself to the lynching case, experts pointed out.
Minister for Law and Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes A K Balan announced the appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor after the mob lynching of Madhu grabbed national attention. Various tribal organizations had also raised this demand.
Subsequently, an order to this effect was issued by the state cabinet. In its fresh order, the Home Department stated that decision to appoint a special public prosecutor in the Madhu murder case was withdrawn following the nominated counsel’s refusal to agree on the fee offered to him as per the norms. However, P Gopinath, who had been named as the SPP, dismissed the Home Department’s claims. According to him, he was only asked to sign the consent letter and there was no mention about the fee. “As I live in Palakkad, I had requested the government in writing to set up an office in Mannarkkad to pursue the lynching case. What I received next is the order canceling my appointment,” Gopinath, who had represented the state as SPP in several cases in the past, told Manorama. Madhu, 27, was beaten to death by a group of people at Kadukumanna hamlet in Attappady, near Palakkad, on February 22 on the allegation of theft of provisions from shops in the locality. Following investigations, the Agali police booked 16 persons in connection with the murder. The trial in the case is expected to begin at the SC/ST Special Court in Mannarkkad soon.