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Thanjavur girl’s death: SC allows NCPCR to submit inquiry files

The top court had, on February 14, refused to stay a Madras High Court order transferring the probe into the case from the State Police to the CBI.

The top court had, on February 14, refused to stay a Madras High Court order transferring the probe into the case from the State Police to the CBI.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday permitted the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to submit documents of its inquiry into the death by suicide of a 17-year-old student in Thanjavur. The top court had, on February 14, refused to stay a Madras High Court order transferring the probe into the case from the State Police to the CBI, amid the controversy sparked by a video clip appearing to show the girl claiming that she was asked to convert to Christianity. A Bench, led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, allowed the NCPCR to intervene in the petition filed by Tamil Nadu, through its Director-General of Police (DGP), against the Madras High Court order. The court posted the case for further hearing on April 11. The NCPCR said it had received over 3,500 requests to initiate an inquiry into the death.

The Commission submitted that it had written to the State Police to initiate an inquiry and submit an ‘action taken’ report to it. However, there was no response. It said its team had interacted with the Police Superintendent, the Chief Education Officer, the doctors who treated the minor girl, and her family. The Commission said grave injury had been inflicted on the girl. In February, the apex court had asked the State not to consider the transfer of the case to the CBI a “prestige issue”. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Tamil Nadu DGP, said the HC transferred the case to the CBI despite the fact that the plea before it was to hand over the investigation to the CB-CID. Tamil Nadu has challenged a series of interim orders passed by the Madurai Bench of the High Court on January 21, 22 and 24. On January 31, the High Court had transferred the case to the CBI. Mr. Rohatgi had argued that the orders of the HC interfered with the fair and impartial probe into the death. Senior advocate P. Wilson, also appearing for the State, had argued that the government was not given a proper opportunity before the case was transferred to the CBI. Tamil Nadu had argued that the dying declarations made by the student, even to the Magistrate, “did not talk about any conversion”. The State contended in the appeal that the private video had surfaced after the girl died on January 19. It argued that the much-criticised press conference held by the district Superintendent of Police was based on preliminary inquiries, at which point there was no material to suggest attempts at conversion. The police officer had conveyed that the probe would cover all the angles in the case. The High Court had transferred the investigation to the CBI on the basis of a petition filed by the girl’s father, who had alleged that the police were pressuring him and the person who recorded the video in question.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 7:32:12 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/thanjavur-girls-death-sc-allows-ncpcr-to-submit-inquiry-files/article65232087.ece