The Kottarakara Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Wednesday refused to give solar scam prime accused Biju Radhakrishnan in police custody on the ground that “it is not legally maintainable.”
Biju was arrested by the Kollam Crime Branch (CID) unit from Coimbatore on Monday on a charge of murdering his wife Reshmi on February 4, 2006. He was remanded by the Kottarakara magistrate court in the Kottarakara sub-jail on Tuesday. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, C.G. Suresh Kumar, who is investigating the case, moved the plea under Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking custody of Biju for further investigation.
Magistrate D. Sreekumar cited a Supreme Court ruling which refuses police custody of an accused for a second time in the same case. On February 1, 2010, Biju was arrested under Section 498 A (husband subjecting wife to cruelty) of the India Penal Code by the Kottarakara police in connection with Reshmi’s death. (The death was investigated by Mr. Suresh Kumar and found to be a murder committed by Biju only recently.)
The magistrate said that “in such a circumstance, a fresh petition for police custody is not permissible under the law. But considering the gravity of the offence and the nature of evidence required to be collected, I find it proper to allow the investigating officer an opportunity to investigate the accused.”
Mr. Sreekumar granted Mr. Suresh Kumar permission to interrogate Biju at the Kottarakara sub-jail between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday in the presence of the jail superintendent.
An interim bail plea filed by Biju before the court through his lawyer was rejected.
Arrested in solar scam
Meanwhile, Biju was formally arrested in the solar scam case inside the court with the permission of the magistrate. He was arrested in connection with a Rs.75-lakh cheating case (at Ambalappuzha) linked to the solar scam.
His accomplice Saritha S. Nair was already arrested in connection with this case and is now in the custody of the special police team investigating the solar scam case. Police sources said the special team would soon move the Kottarakara court seeking custody of Biju in connection with the investigation in this case.