Walayar case: Commission recommends action against SI who first probed case
Thiruvananthapuram: In connection with the unnatural death of two minor girls in Walayar, the Commission headed by retired district judge Justice P K Haneefa recommended action against the sub-inspector (SI) who first investigated the case. The commission also recommended in its report that the SI should not be entrusted with investigation of similar cases. It also pointed out that the SI was responsible for destroying all direct and scientific evidences in the case.
The report also suggested that the prosecutors who made serious lapses in their duty should not be considered for the post. The investigation team headed by DySP Sojan had not committed any intentional mistakes in the probe. The public prosecutors failed to present many facts before the court.
The report severely criticized Walayar SI P C Chacko who first investigated the case. The second girl died 51 days after the first girl's death. Meantime, the SI did not interrogate the second girl or record her statement though she was willing to give statement.
The officer himself stated that the second girl might have been subjected to sexual abuse, but it was not informed to the Childline. The biggest lapse in the case was that they did not record the statement of the second girl. The clothes worn by the first girl was not seized after her death. Later, the dress was burned by her family.
Though the girl's mother gave statement on January 16, 2017, SI did not record it claiming it was not trustworthy. There is no mention of Premanandan who investigated the case for next three days.
The prosecutors failed to try the two accused in the case despite having proper evidences. The CI had stated that the parents of the children did not file complaint because the accused were their relatives and considering the girl's future. But this statement was not brought to the attention of the court while trying the parents and CI.
The mother of the girls had told SI Chacko that she had seen the elder girl being abused by the first two accused. But this statement was not recorded. Later, a woman officer recorded this, but the statement was not mentioned in the court. The prosecutors did not study the case properly and also did not train the witnesses.
When the investigation officer realised these matters, he requested the prosecutor to try him during the in-camera proceedings, but the prosecutor rejected this request claiming it to be legally invalid. When the DySP filed the petition directly in the court, the prosecutor informed the court that it was filed without his permission. Following this, the court rejected the plea.
The commission also recommended that the prosecutors who attend controversial cases should be given training. Only trained police officers should be appointed to investigate such cases. The investigation officer should be given the freedom to consult criminal lawyers or higher police officers, it said.