Sentencing a man and his parents to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, a Sessions court here has called for disciplinary action against two police officers for botching up the investigation into the murder.
Despite the shoddy probe, the court relied on the testimony of the woman’s parents, which was consistent with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s report and the inexplicable “silence” of the accused when called to make their defence under Section 313 of the CrPC, to convict the trio.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said the FIR was filed over two months after the death of Gayatri, and there was considerable delay in the arrest of the three convicts, Mukesh and his parents Dinesh Kumar and Krishna Devi.
“I feel it important to note that the investigation in this case has been for name sake only. In fact, it would be right to say that there has been no investigation at all. The conduct of the investigating officer had been extremely reckless, indifferent and casual. It appears that he did so either on account of lack of proper training and expertise or for some ulterior reasons,” Mr. Bhat said.
He noted that IO S-I Birender reached the crime spot on March 16, 2011, the day she was found dead, and seized the rope which was found tied to the ceiling fan. In their statement to the SDM, Gayatri’s parents suspected the hand of the accused in the death of their daughter.
The court noted that after the post mortem on March 17, “it is apparent that thereafter the IO remained in deep slumber”.
Mr. Bhat said: “FIR came to be registered on May 20 and no reason at all has been furnished for such long delay in the registration of the case and in the process vital evidence which would have helped the prosecution, was lost…It is also apparent that the accused have not been interrogated at all…Their police remand was not sought as if it was an open-and-shut case and nothing remained to be inquired.”
The court said that the same can be said about the second investigating officer of the case, Inspector Praveen Kumar, to whom the investigation was entrusted on June 7. “No inquiries were made from the neighbours regarding the relations between the accused and the deceased. The height of the fan has not been measured to see whether it was possible for deceased to have tied the rope with it and commit suicide.”
The court noted that the aforesaid lapses of the two investigating officers were unpardonable and said: “These two investigating officers have shown utter callousness and casual approach which is not only undesirable and deprecatory but calls for a stern action against them.”
Gayatri’s parents testified that a fierce fight broke out between Gayatri and the accused persons on March 16 and she made two phone calls to them between 10 a.m. and 12 noon saying that the accused were beating her and demanding her necklace. Their testimony went unchallenged during cross-examination. Further, Mukesh told a blatant lie to the doctor at the hospital that Gayatri became unconscious after a fall at home, which was contradicted by the ligature mark around her neck and seizing of the rope.”
The court said that during examination under Section 313 CrPC, the accused “chose to remain silent and did not utter a word except that ‘it is incorrect’ to all the incriminating circumstances put to them”. “In the instant case, where there is no manner of doubt that the deceased died in the presence of the accused and only the accused knew how she died, they cannot get away by choosing to remain silent.
It was necessary for them to disclose in detail the circumstances in which the death of deceased was caused, in order to exculpate themselves. The silence of the accused herein is only proof of their guilt,” Mr. Bhat said.