Senior Kerala lawyer booked over murder of a real estate broker
Before his death, the victim in a police complaint claimed he faced serious threat from the lawyer and others over a property dealindia Updated: Oct 16, 2017 14:37 IST
A senior criminal lawyer of Kerala, C P Udaya Bhanu, was booked on Monday by a special investigation team in connection with the murder of a real estate broker in Thrissur.
Prior to his death, victim V Rajeevan had lodged a complaint with the police saying that he faced serious threat from the lawyer and others over a property deal.
Rajeevan was found murdered in an abandoned house two weeks ago.
The police initially arrested three persons for their alleged role in the crime, claiming the trio wanted the real estate broker to return the money they had given as an advance payment, which led to an altercation.
They later strangled the broker to death and abandoned his body.
Subsequently, four more persons were arrested in connection with the case.
But Rajeevan’s son told the police that he suspected the role of the senior lawyer in his father’s death.
Weeks before his death, Rajeevan had given a complaint to state police chief Loknath Behera that he faced serious threat to his life from the lawyer and another broker C O Johnny. Later the police also recovered the CCTV footages that showed the advocate had visited the victim’s house on several occasions.
The lawyer had moved the Kerala high court for anticipatory bail, saying police were in hurry to implicate him in the case.
While hearing his bail plea, the HC had directed the SIT to probe his role, if any, and submit a report.
The court had also stayed his arrest till the SIT submitted its report.
In the report the SIT claimed that it has “clinching evidence” against the lawyer and that he was in touch with the victim even on the day he was murdered.
Apart from the lawyer, seven arrested earlier too have been named as accused in the case.
What role the seven played in the murder and other details are still awaited.
The lawyer, however, claimed he was implicated because he represented many high-profile cases.
He was the public prosecutor in Hummer murder case in which beedi baron Muhamed Nisham is accused of killing the security guard of his apartment over delay in opening the gates.
The Vithura sex scandal in which a minor was gang raped was another of his high-profile cases.
Police sources claimed that a gang was hired to abduct the broker and force him to sign some documents.
But when he refused, he was fatally assaulted.
They said the lawyer and one of his friends wanted to buy a mango plantation in Palakkad and handed over Rs 3.50 crore to Rajeevan.
But after the deal somehow failed to materialize, Rajeevan returned only Rs 50 lakh that antagonised them.
Udaya Bhanu’s bail plea will come up for hearing in the court again on October 23.