The Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed a single judge bench order for a CBI probe into the killing of Youth Congress worker Shuhaib in Kannur district, allegedly by ruling CPI(M) workers.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu, granted the stay while considering an appeal filed by the state government.
The Kerala government on Monday had moved the high court against the single judge bench order.
In its appeal, the government had contended that the order was passed without taking note of the speedy forensic and fair investigation carried out by the state police and without giving them an opportunity to file a counter.
Justice B Kemal Pasha had given the direction on March 7 for the CBI probe while considering the plea by the parents of the Youth Congress worker, seeking a probe by the central agency into the killing.
The parents also submitted that since the prime accused Akash was close to those in the power, it was necessary to have a free and fair investigation in the case by the CBI.
Observing that there should be an impartial and independent probe into the killing,the judge had also directed the state police to hand over the probe to the CBI, besides the case diary and other materials to the agency's Thiruvananthapuram unit.
In its appeal, the government contended that the judgement was passed within three weeks of the incident (where the accused were unknown at the time of filing of the FIR).
The appeal said that the Special Investigation Team, set up to probe the killing, later arrested 11 persons involved in the attack and recovered the weapons and vehicles which were used in the commission of offence, it said.
No materials were there before the single judge apart from newspaper reports and FIR produced along with the writ petition, it said.
The single bench order violated the principle of natural justice and the principles settled by the Supreme Court, the government submitted.
Youth Congress worker Shuhaib, 29, was hacked to death at a tea stall, allegedly by CPI(M) workers on February 12.