Chennai: Pointing out that the prosecution could not base its case merely on the confession of the co-accused during the course of investigation, the Madras High Court has transferred to CB-CID, investigation into the murder of an advocate. The advocate, Velayudham, was also a former councillor in Thiruvallur district.
Allowing a petition from his wife V. Meenakshi, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh directed the CB-CID inspector at Thiruvallur to immediately take up investigation and file a final report before the court concerned as expeditiously as possible. "The Inspector of Police, CB-CID, Thiruvallur, is expected to conduct a fair investigation and bring all the accused persons to book," the judge added.
Petitioner's counsel S. Sathia Chandran submitted that on April 18, 2017, Velayudham was murdered by a group of accused in Thiruvallur district. Three of the accused men surrendered and three others were arrested.
Although three more accused were also involved in the murder, the police did not arrest them, and instead proceeded with the investigation and filed a final report without citing a single eyewitness. Later the case was posted for trial.
The local police did not conduct the investigation in a free and fair manner, it was alleged. They deliberately and wilfully omitted investigating the case in a scientific and professional manner by collecting all materials pointing to the guilt of the accused. On the other hand, the chargesheet filed by the investigating officer appeared to be only for namesake resulting in a futile exercise of investigation, Ms Sathia Chandran said.
The judge said the allegations mentioned in the final report read as if there was an eyewitness to the entire incident who had described the manner in which the entire offence was committed. Shockingly, there was not a single eyewitness who was examined in this case and the entire final report was based on the confession given by the accused to the police. Therefore, the very sustainability of the case of the prosecution had become very shaky, Justice Venkatesh added.
The judge said if there was no eyewitness to the incident, the prosecution ought to have investigated the case in order to establish circumstantial evidence against the accused persons. This had not been done in this case at all. The list of witnesses provided along with the final report showed that all the witnesses spoke about what had happened after the incident had taken place.
"On going through the entire material available on record, this court is thoroughly disappointed in the manner in which the final report came to be filed by the Inspector of Police, Thiruvallur Taluk police station. An advocate who was also a former councillor was brutally murdered in this case and the investigation has been conducted in a slipshod manner. Therefore, this court has to necessarily exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of CrPC and order for further investigation by a different agency," the judge added and transferred the investigation to CB-CID.