Kochi: In stinging remarks against CBI,
Kerala High Court Monday said the probe agency`s Joint Director
Ashok Kumar and two officials had `interfered` with the
investigation of a custodial death case, in which two IPS
officers are among the accused.
Justice V Ram Kumar said CBI joint director Ashok Kumar,
SP Shiny, ASP Nanda Kumaran Nair `are not entitled to
interfere with the functional autonomy or freedom of
investigation team` probing the death of Sampath, a murder
case accused, who died in police custody in March last year.
The court warned the CBI higher ups that if it comes across
any more `unwholesome conduct` on their part or those above
them trying to influence or pressurise the investigating
team, the court will be forced to discharge the unpleasant
duty of initiating action for contempt besides summoning the
CBI director and initiating him to take suitable action
against such officers.
The court said the officers should realise that such
`devious conduct` on their part they are harming the
reputation and credibility of the premier investigation agency.
The court directed police and CBI to provide adequate
protection to the members of the investigation team whose
request in this regard have fallen on deaf ears, the court
Justice Ram Kumar also warned that if there is any
security lapse, the state and CBI would be held responsible.
The remarks were made by the court after pursuing the
copies of the tri-weekly progress report and connected records
provided in a sealed cover by the chief investigating officer
in the case.
The court condemned the attempt by the CBI SP to meet him
in his chamber. “The unsuccessful attempt by CBI SP Shiny to
meet me in my chamber and complain through her standing
counsel that the investigation team is functioning
indifferently and contrary to CBI guidelines” confirms the
fear expressed by the petitioner, Murukesan, brother of
Sampath, that some members of the IPS lobby in CBI are after
the investigating team presumably to protect the interests of
two erring IPS officers.
The investigation team is answerable to law and law only
and not to their masters, the court pointed out.
The case was handed over to CBI after Sampath`s brother
approached the high court stating that attempts were being to
scuttle the investigation.
Sampath was arrested in connection with the murder of
Sheela, a housewife in Palakkad in March last year, and he
died allegedly during questioning by police.