Returns closure report on death of a Malayali woman in US, wants more proof collected

The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here on Thursday returned the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the death of a Malayali woman in California in August 2004.

The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by K. Gopinathan, father of Anitha Pathiyil of Palakkad, who died of burns in a hospital.

Mr. Gopinathan, who requested the court to order a re-investigation, said his daughter was tortured for dowry by her husband and in-laws after marriage in September 2000. Ms. Pathiyil’s husband and in-laws had been named accused in the case filed at the Hemambika Nagar police station in Palakkad. The case was handed over to the CBI in 2009. The agency had filed a report saying it found no incriminating material against the accused.

Mr. Gopinathan’s petition argued that the CBI did not collect evidence properly and did not visit the place of crime.

The petition noted that the first accused, Ms. Pathiyil’s husband, had not returned to India after the death. The coroner’s office in the U.S. had ruled Ms. Pathiyil’s death an accident. But the cause of death was decided based on the statement given by the accused himself, the petition alleged.

Considering the facts of the case, CJM V. Hari Nair said the report submitted by the CBI was unacceptable