A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case of two minor Dalit sisters who were raped and killed at Walayar in Palakkad in 2017. Last Friday, a POCSO court in Kerala had acquitted all three accused in the case.
The bench of Chief Justice S Mani Kumar and Justice CT Ravi Kumar indicated that there were legal opportunities available for the petitioners to approach higher courts against the trial court ruling.
The petition, seeking CBI probe into the rape case, was filed in the Kerala High Court by a Thrissur-based activist who complained that there were several irregularities in the Kerala Police investigation. But the high court pointed out that the petition was based on newspaper reports and asked how a re-probe could be ordered when the trial court has ruled on the matter.
The state government has also informed the court that it plans to appeal against the special POCSO court verdict acquitting three accused in the case on October 25.
Alleging justice had been denied, yesterday, the victim’s parents had met Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and pressed for a CBI inquiry into the murders. However, the CM had told the parents that while it is practically not possible for the Kerala government to seek a CBI probe in the case, the government will not oppose the same if the parents move a petition for it.
The mother of the victims has earlier expressed apprehension in the probe saying that she does not trust the Kerala Police officers probing the case. “They collected documents and evidence during each phase of the investigation but nothing happened. We don’t have any evidence now. The investigation should be conducted in a way that serves justice to our daughters”, she had said.
After facing massive outrage over the handling of Walayar Rape case, the Kerala government had decided to file an appeal against the trial court order acquitting the accused in the Walayar rape case. In the high-level meeting chaired by Pinarayi, it was also decided to replace the public prosecutor.
On Monday, the civil society members across the country, especially in Kerala had expressed massive outrage against the Kerala government following the acquittal of all four persons in the rape and death case of two minor Dalit girls in Walayar in Palakkad district in 2017.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had also found lapses from investigating officials in the case. Following this, CM had said in the Assembly that it would be decided after examinations whether a CBI probe or a re-probe was required or not.
Two years after two minor sisters in Walayar in Palakkad district were found dead in mysterious circumstances, a court in Palakkad on Friday acquitted three persons who were accused of abetment of suicide and rape of the two minor Dalit girls.
It is being accused that the Kerala police allegedly helped the accused evade the conviction by weakening the case under political pressure. Ironically, the accused in the case are CPI(M) workers and the defence lawyer was a local CPI(M) leader.
The two minor Dalit girls, who were sisters, were found hanging after being sexually assaulted in January and March 2017 in Attappalam in Walayar, near Kerala’s border with Tamil Nadu. According to the postmortem reports, the girls were subjected to sexual assault. The autopsy report in the case of the younger girl even suggested the possibility of homicidal hanging.
However, the police did not investigate the murder charges and the final report was submitted against four accused – V Madhu, M Madhu, Shibu and Pradeep Kumar for offences of abetment of suicide, rape and unnatural sex under the Indian Penal Code and penetrative sexual assault under the POCSO Act.
Another accused is a juvenile and proceedings against him are progressing in the Juvenile Justice Board.
The Special POCSO Court, Palakkad had acquitted one of the accused Pradeep Kumar on September 30. On Friday, the First Additional Sessions Judge (Special POCSO Court) of Palakkad district acquitted three accused in the case, V Madhu, Shibu and M Madhu, citing that the prosecution was not able to prove their involvement in the case.