The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Friday came down heavily on the Central Bureau of Investigation for lapses in its probe into the death of V. Saseendran, former company secretary of Malabar Cements. The Court returned the charge sheet filed by the CBI in the case, asking it to conduct “an impartial, meaningful, and effective investigation.”

Saseendran and his two sons were found hanging in their house in January 2011, a month after he blew the lid off alleged corrupt deals in Malabar Cements. Contractor V.M. Radhakrishnan, the main accused in the case, is also being investigated by the Vigilance Department. The CBI charge sheet submitted before the Court said Saseendran’s death was a suicide and not a murder.

The Court pointed out several holes in the charge sheet filed by the CBI. Scientific tests by experts had cast doubts on the ability of a person of Saseendran’s size to carry his children up a ladder to hang them from the ceiling. The Court observed that if Saseendran had intended to commit suicide and kill his children, he could have easily poisoned the food that he prepared and gave them on the evening of the death. The Court made the observation as the possibility of suicide was highly suspect.

“CBI has not discharged its duty to rule out the possibilities indicating a case of murder. … The investigating officer jumped in to the conclusion that it is a case of suicide,” Chief Judicial Magistrate V. Hari Nair said in his order. The Court also said that the CBI’s charge sheet was unclear on the blood-like stains on the wall of the room where the bodies were found. One of the scientific reports filed in the case had also mentioned blood stains on the clothes of the children. The Court termed certain observations in the report “imaginary” and “unjust and unfair.” The Magistrate said the credibility of the CBI had come under a cloud. “On perusal of the materials of this case, I have no hesitation to add that CBI was trying to water down the offences that appear to have been committed by the accused.”

The Magistrate directed the agency to collect further evidence and asked higher-ups of the CBI to oversee the investigation to ensure that the truth came to light.

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