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Monday, August 09, 2010 11:57:52 PM, PTI

New Delhi: A Supreme Court judge has expressed the view that all cases of custodial deaths should be investigated by an independent investigating agency like the CBI.


"My personal opinion is that all custodial deaths should be handed over to the CBI," Justice Dalveer Bhandari, heading a bench which included Justice Deepak Verma, observed, while dismissing the Kerala Government's appeal challenging the CBI inquiry into a custodial death case.


The Kerala Government had moved the apex court questioning the CBI probe into the custodial death case of one Sampath who was picked up by the Palakkad police in connection with the death of a woman Sheela.

Sampath, who was picked up for questioning, reportedly died in custody on March 30, 2010. On the basis of a petition filed by his brother, a single judge of the Kerala High Court ordered a CBI inquiry as the accused involved in the alleged offence were police officers.

A division bench upheld the decision, following which the state appealed in the apex court. The state took the plea that the case was being handled in an impartial manner by it as the investigation was handed over to the Crime Branch-CID which had found prima facie evidence against one deputy SP rank officer, a circle inspector and two sub-inspectors besides eight other policemen.

However, the argument failed to convince the apex court which concurred with the findings of the High Court.


"It is astonishing that the State Government has come to the Supreme Court against the High Court order. Two benches of the High Court had comprehensively stated that the case should be handed over to the CBI. They have given detailed reasons for that", SC observed.


"Why is the State shirking? They (CBI) are your own colleagues. Accused belongs to the police department, there can be inference," the apex court observed while dismissing the government's appeal.





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