Kerala rape and murder: Six-year-old victim’s mother seeks court-monitored re-probe by SIT

The mother requested that the SIT should comprise officers with experience in forensics sexual offence and homicide cases.


Published Feb 09, 2024 | 7:50 AMUpdatedFeb 09, 2024 | 7:50 AM

Kerala HC directs sessions judge to give fact-finding report to survivor the actor assault case

The mother of the six-year-old victim in the Vandiperiyar rape-cum-murder case has moved the Kerala High Court seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe afresh the 2021 killing of her daughter.

In her plea, she sought that the SIT should comprise officers having experience in forensic science and who have investigated cases of sexual offences and homicides.

Her plea followed the appeals filed by the state and the victim’s father against the trial court verdict of December last, acquitting the accused in the case.

The latest petition, filed on Thursday, 8 February, through advocate PV Jeevesh, also sought court monitoring of the re-investigation.

Additionally, she also urged the court to direct the state government, its Home Department and the state police chief to initiate departmental proceedings against the officers who allegedly sabotaged the probe in the case.

Related: Court admits govt appeal against acquittal of accused in Vandiperiyar rape-murder case

‘Deliberate bid to save culprit’

The victim’s mother alleged that there were “deliberate attempts” on the part of the investigating officer and his team to save the culprit in the case from the “clutches of law”.

“The investigation was conducted in a most biased and defective manner. The court also indirectly indicated the same in its judgement.

“The investigation was biased, tainted, inefficient and untruthful, which resulted in an unmerited acquittal,” the plea claimed.

On December 14 last, a court in Kerala acquitted a man accused of raping and killing a six-year-old girl, who was his neighbour, at Churukkulam estate in the hilly Idukki district of the state in June 2021.

The girl was found hanging inside her house on 30 June 2021 when her parents were out at work on a nearby plantation.

The police had initially registered a case of unnatural death but the autopsy report confirmed that the child was raped before she was hanged

The Fast Track Special Court for the trial of offences under the POCSO Act had acquitted the accused saying “the prosecution failed to establish all the circumstances which are consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence.”

The trial court had said that the investigating officer (IO) adopted a “lethargic attitude” throughout the investigation.

Thereafter, the issue was raised in the Kerala Assembly by the Congress-led UDF Opposition and hours after that the government issued an order suspending the IO.

Related: Acquitted man’s relative attempted to murder victim’s kin, says police FIR

Investigator suspended

The suspension order, issued by Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) MR Ajithkumar on 1 February, indicated that the action was taken based on the adverse observations by the trial court against the investigating officer in the case.

The ADGP’s order had also said that the investigating officer, presently posted in a police station in Ernakulam Rural district, has been placed under suspension with immediate effect pending enquiry against him.

The UDF had slammed the Left government by accusing it of “carelessness” and “indifference” in the case and “deliberately” trying to protect the accused right from the start.

The allegations were denied in the Assembly by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who argued that the police had lodged a case in a timely manner and carried out an investigation.

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