Himachal Pradesh HC gives CBI two weeks to complete Kotkhai rape case probe

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday gave the CBI two weeks to conclude the probe in the Kotkhai rape and murder case of a teenager, and the custodial death of an accused, while voicing concern over the slow pace of investigation.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday gave the CBI two weeks to conclude the probe in the Kotkhai rape and murder case of a teenager, and the custodial death of an accused, while voicing concern over the slow pace of investigation.

A division bench of the high court comprising acting Chief justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed the order after the CBI submitted the status report in respect of both the cases in a sealed envelope.

When the bench asked why the investigation was taking so long, CBI lawyer Anshul Bansal told the court that the probe in the rape-cum-murder of the minor girl and the custodial death of an accused--Suraj--was almost complete and the challan would be filed soon.

He also urged the court not to make the status report public.

The CBI counsel said the investigation in the case of custodial death of Suraj would also help solve the rape-murder case of the class 10 student.

He also said the CBI wanted to conduct polygraphy test on the accused in Ahmedabad and more time would be required for it. The CBI has already sought the court's permission for the test. It also requires permission of the accused for polygraphy, popularly known as lie detector test.

The twin cases were ordered to be handed over to the CBI by the High Court on July 19. The central probe agency registered FIRs in the two cases on July 22.

The CBI has so far submitted three status reports to the high court.

Eight police officers including Z H Zaidi, an IG rank officer, and Manoj Joshi, DSP, were arrested by the CBI on July 29 in the custodial death case.

The court will resume hearing on September 21.

The school girl was raped and killed at Halaila village in Kotkhai area of Shimla district on July 4.

The girl had gone missing while on her way back from school and her body was found in a forest two days later, triggering massive protests.