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Chennai: HC flays police; orders CBI probe into 'honour killing' case

Chennai: Lambasting the police, Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered a CBI probe into a case of suspected honour killing of a girl involved in inter-caste marriage. Justice V Ramasubramanian, who earlier directed Usilampatti Police not to proceed further in the case, today directed to hand over the case to CBI.

"In the light of the facts pleaded and disclosed from the files, it is clear at least prima facie that the death of Vimaladevi is a case of honour killing. But unfortunately the investigation team had not brought this out deliberately."

"On the other hand they have manipulated records and have come out with different stories so as to save their own officers. Hence I am of the opinion that the investigation relating to the death of Vimaladevi cannot be left in the hands of the officers under the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu," the judge said.

"Firstly, it does not inspire confidence of the victims. Secondly, the investigation officer himself is proceeding on the predetermined chartered course namely that the death of Vimaladevi was one of suicide and not homicide."

Finding fault with police officials of Usilampatti and the women Sub-inspector of Police Anandhi of Vathalagundu, the judge said there was every reason to believe that the local police, both at Usilampatti and Vathalagundu, had clearly laid a blue print to get the girl separated from Dilip Kumar, the petitioner, and to hand her over to her parents.

The judge said the conduct of the police of Usilampatti and Vathlagundu were not satisfactory. They did not handle the case with the sensitivity that it requires. "Further the conduct of the Women SI Anandhi of Vathalagundu has to be probed. Similarly the role of the Station House officer of the Usilampatti Town Police at the relevant time also will have to be probed."

The judge then directed the DGP to appoint an officer in the rank of IGP to conduct a preliminary probe on the conduct of the officers in the circumstances that lead to the death of Vimaladevi and submit a report to the High Court within a period of eight weeks.

Allowing the petition, the judge directed SP, Madurai and the DGP to hand over all the records to the Joint Director CBI who will in turn nominate an officer not below the rank of SP to continue the probe and submit final report to the Jurisdictional Magistrate. The petitioner had sought a direction from the court to hand over investigation to CBI and take departmental action against police who acted against wishes of the girl and allegedly caused her death.

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