Investigation in the death of two minor girls handed to CBI by Kerala HC

The High Court of Kerala on 19th March 2021 directed the CBI to take over investigation in a 2017 suicide case of two minor girls.

Background:

Two daughters of the writ petitioner passed away under suspicious circumstances in 2017. Upon receiving the information that the girls had committed suicide, a crime was registered under Sec.174 of the Cr.P.C. 

During the investigation, it was revealed that offences punishable under Sec.376(2)(i),(n), 377, 305, 354 of IPC; Sec.5(l) r/w Sec.6,7 r/w Sec.8 of the POCSO Act and Sec.3(1)(w),(i) and 3(2)(va) of the SC/ST (POA) Act had been committed against the girls. 

The accused thus faced trial in the Special Court for POCSO cases but was acquitted. Thus, the state, as well as writ petitioner, preferred appeals to the High Court, which the division bench allowed by remanding the case for retrial. The trial judge was directed to consider the plea raised by the investigating agency for permission to conduct further investigation into the case. 

It was after this that the current writ was filed, asking for the investigation to be handed over to the CBI. Pending the Writ, the Kerala Government was handed over the investigation by issuing a notification. On receiving the notification the Central Government informed the State that this notification was not per the guidelines given in 2018. 

Submission and Decision: 

The Prosecutor submitted that following the guidelines, all requisite documents were handed over in person to the Central Government. The Documents were received and the Central Government had sought a feasibility report from the CBI. After this, the CBI will take an appropriate decision regarding taking over the investigation. 

However, the State was keen on entrusting the investigation to CBI. 

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The Hon’ble Judge V.G.ARUN believed that there could not be any more delay in commencing the investigation. The CBI was thus directed to take over the investigation. The State and Police were directed to assist and support the CBI in the investigation.


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