CBI knocks SC doors, sulks at its own officer`s defiance

Sulking at the defiance of one of its own officers, CBI sought the Supreme Court`s intervention to discipline its chief investigating officer probing a custodial death in Kerala.

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2011, 22:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Sulking at the defiance of one
of its own officers, CBI on Monday sought the Supreme Court`s
intervention to discipline its chief investigating officer
probing a custodial death in Kerala.
CBI also urged the apex court to expunge the stinging
observations made by the High Court against the agency for
allegedly trying to shield some top IPS officers involved in
the death of the victim Samapath.

Samapath was picked up by the Town North Police Station
in Palakkad on March 29, 2010, for interrogation relating to
the murder of a woman Sheela. During interrogation, Sampath is
said to have died in police custody.

On the directions of the High Court, CBI took up the
investigations. But there were allegations that the probe was
not proceeding in the right direction as some superior
officers in CBI were pressurising the investigating officers
from acting against the accused police officials, two of whom
are said to be from IPS.
However, subsequently on a petition filed by relatives
of the deceased, the High Court had on December 22, 2010,
asked the chief investigating officer Haridatt to directly
submit a report every three weeks to the Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Ernakulam.

While making certain stinging remarks against CBI for
reportedly pressurising the investigating team, the High Court
had ordered that the officials probing the death shall not
be transferred without its prior consent.

The High Court had remarked "but eyebrows were being
raised at the higher level in CBI when the chief investigation
officer sought permission to add to the array of the accused
two IPS officers of the state police. It appears that certain
officers of CBI got afflicted by the `birds ofthe same feather
syndrome` and started finding fault with thechief
investigating officer who was served with a few
memo."

It was further observed by the High Court that "the
suspect officers may be their batchmates, former colleagues,
training mates or like. But while investigating a murder case,
no clannish considerations should weigh with any officer worth
his name."

After the high court`s direction, Haridatt, who is of the
rank of an SI, refused to obey the orders of his superiors.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told a bench of
justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma that with an
intention of strengthening the investigating team, the CBI
director inducted Binay Kumar, Additional Superintendent of
Police, of the agency to supervise the investigation.

But when Kumar asked Haridatt to give documents relating
to the case, the latter refused to obey his superior officer.

The Solicitor General submitted Haridatt`s refusal to
obey his superiors was leading to serious indiscipline in the
organisation.

"It has also affected the command and control of the
organisation and has the effect of inspiring indiscipline
among the subordinate officers," the SG said.

PTI