Kerala

Prosecutors, police draw flak for lapses

The police officer and prosecutors who investigated and conducted the trial in the sexual assault and death case involving twin sisters at Walayar should be kept off from similar assignments, a judicial commission that probed the case has recommended.

Former district judge P.K. Haneefa was appointed as the judicial commission to probe the case after a trial court acquitted all the accused for want of evidences.

Flawed conduct

Flawed conduct of the case was also believed to be a reason for the acquittal.

The death of the two minor sisters and the acquittal of the accused had led to a huge public outcry in Kerala.

The case witnessed two prosecutors being appointed and the second one returning to the job after being removed from the responsibility.

Prime witness

The commission noted that the life of the younger girl, who would have become a star witness in the case as she knew about what befell her sister, could have been saved if the police had acted with alacrity.

It was 51 days after the death of the elder girl that the young one was found dead in their house.

The sub-inspector (SI) concerned had deposed before the commission that the younger girl was under trauma after the death of her sister.

Had he acted on time, she could have been saved if she was put under the guardianship of a Child Welfare Committee, the commission observed.

The police officer also failed to record the statement of the mother of the deceased children that the elder girl was sexually assaulted and file reports accordingly, it was pointed out.

The police and the prosecutors failed to bring before the court the evidences related to the sexual assault committed on the girl.

Evidences lost

Several pieces of crucial evidences, including the cloths of the elder girl, were lost.

The police failed to collect the cloths of the victim and send them for chemical analysis, which would have yielded valuable evidences, the commission noted.

The prosecutor could not convince the court about the need to have an investigation officer inside the court hall during the trial.

Though the police tried to raise the demand, the prosecutor obstructed it, thus affecting the conduct of the case.

The prosecutor also did not direct investigation into the areas that the police had missed to probe, it was found.

Controversial officer

The commission suggested that the sub-inspector who investigated the Walayar case in the early stages should not be put in charge of any such investigations in future.

If he was currently probing any such case, he should be taken out of the responsibility, the commission recommended.

Departmental action should be taken against the police officer, it was recommended by the commission.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 10:28:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/prosecutors-police-draw-flak-for-lapses/article31427897.ece

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