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
"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
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.
"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.