A Special CBI court here today awarded death sentence to two police officers in connection with the custodial death of a 26-year-old man in 2005.

Assistant Sub-Inspector K Jithakumar and Civil Police Officer S V Sreekumar were the first and second accused in the case.

CBI Special Court judge J Nazer sentenced the two to death and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs two lakh each.

This is believed to be the first time that capital punishment has been awarded to two serving police officers in Kerala.

Three other accused in the case, T K Haridas, E K Sabu and Ajit Kumar have been sentenced to undergo three years imprisonment each for destruction of evidence and conspiracy.

The third accused K V Soman had died during the pendency of the case, while another accused, V P Mohanan, was acquitted by the court earlier.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on all the given accused.

According to the prosecution, Udayakumar, was taken into custody in connection with a case of theft and had died in a police station here after being tortured by the police.

Jithakumar and Sreekumar, who took Udayakumar into custody, were held responsible for the murder, while three others were found guilty of conspiracy and destroying evidence.

The case had triggered widespread protests across the state.

The CBI had taken over the investigation of the case following a high court order on a petition filed by Udayakumar's mother Prabhavathi.