Nedumkandam custodial death investigation officer facing vigilance action
Kochi/Idukki: Documents have revealed that the police officer investigating the Nedumkandam custodial death case is facing vigilance action. Mathrubhumi News received documents (a memo) which revealed that Crime Branch DySP Johnson Joseph was facing action for naming an innocent as accused in a case.
When he was the Thodupuzha Vigilance DySP, Johnson Joseph removed the original accused and added an innocent man into the list of accused. The action was regarding a case pertaining to providing the wrong sketch for stone quarrying at Mannankandam village in January 2017.
In connection with the issue, a case was registered against eight accused including village officer K. S. Sabu. The village officer was accused of signing the wrong location map. Officials including Sabu were suspended following Johnson Joseph’s report.
However, Sabu submitted a complaint to the director of Vigilance stating that he was innocent. Inquiries revealed that the wrong location map was signed by the village officer who had preceded Sabu. A show cause notice issued to Johnson Joseph by the vigilance director pointed out that the police officer had not taken any action despite learning about Sabu’s innocence during preliminary investigation itself.
Without checking this fact, Sabu was suspended based on a special report sent by Johnson Joseph. Sabu, who retired in 2018 is yet to receive pension and benefits because of the report, another show cause notice sent on May 21 said.
The memo also states that these actions point to lapses and misuse of official authority by a senior officer. The memo sought a response within seven days from Johnson Joseph to prevent disciplinary action.
When contacted, vigilance directorate officials said they had received Johnson Joseph’s response and that departmental procedures were progressing. Johnson Joseph was given the charge of Nemkandam custodial death case while he is facing Vigilance action.
Meanwhile, the Vigilance department has filed a report in the Moovattupuzha Vigilance court seeking to remove Sabu from the list of accused in the quarry case. The Vigilance has also sent a letter to the land revenue commissioner seeking to stop the disciplinary action against Sabu.