The case was against a woman who killed her husband on February 9
The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday dismissed a writ petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry in a case registered against a woman who killed her husband when he allegedly attempted to rape their daughter in an inebriated mood on February 9.
She was let free by the then Madurai Superintendent of Police Asra Garg on the ground of self defence.
Not finding any merits in the writ petition filed by the father of the deceased, Justice K. Chandru said that the petitioner had mainly relied upon a letter written by the then Collector U. Sagayam to the Director General of Police recommending transfer of investigation to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) though such a recommendation was not accepted either by the DGP or the government.
At the outset, the judge wondered how did the petitioner manage to a get a copy of the departmental letter written by the former Collector to the DGP even by taking recourse to the Right to Information Act 2005 as such documents relating to a pending criminal investigation were not supposed to be given away by any Public Information Officer much less the one attached to the office of the Collector.
He also pointed out that the Collector had written the letter after the filing of the present writ petition.
“When the matter was pending before this court and this court was seized of the matter, by issuing notices to the respondents and asking the Superintendent of Police to file a status report, it is not clear as to why the Collector recommended transfer of investigation by way of a D.O. letter,” he said.
Mr. Justice Chandru doubted whether the Collector’s recommendation was based on any official documents especially when the officer himself had stated in the letter that the Oomachikulam police station Inspector, who was the investigating officer of the case, did not file any report to him despite a specific instruction to submit all details regarding the case.
In the letter, the Collector had stated that a discreet inquiry made by him into the incident had revealed that the deceased was not in an inebriated mood at the time of his death.
However, the judge said that the viscera report obtained by the investigating officer from the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory here as well as the post-mortem report was totally contrary to the Collector’s conclusion.
The viscera report clearly stated that 220 ml of ethyl alcohol was detected in the stomach, 166 ml in intestine, 175 ml in liver and kidney, 161 ml in brain and 92 ml in blood. Further, the head of the forensic medicine at Madurai Medical College and District Police Surgeon had opined that the deceased appeared to have died due to multiple injuries and his visceral organs contained ethyl alcohol at the time of death.
It is not correct
“Therefore, it is not correct on the part of the District Collector to conclude, without any basis, that the deceased was not in an inebriated mood at the time of murder… In any event, it is entirely the matter for the investigating officer to decide and for him to file a final report on the basis of materials collected during the course of investigation,” the judge said.
Rejecting the petitioner’s statement that the police had let the accused go scot free without a proper enquiry into the issue, the judge pointed out that the investigation had been conducted in a proper manner as the police had obtained statements from the two daughters of the deceased and other witnesses. They had also made enquiries about other suspects in the case.
“It must be noted that as and when a final report is filed by the investigating officer before the jurisdictional magistrate, there is enough power vested with the Magistrate to deal with the situation. The magistrate has got power under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to order further investigation. Even after the submission of report, the investigating officer too can conduct further investigation,” the judge added.
He, however, refused to go into allegation and counter allegations of immoral conduct levelled upon the deceased as well as the accused on the ground that the final report was yet to be filed and any observation made by him at this stage might affect the further progress of the criminal case.