The officials got acquitted as witnesses did not show up for the hearing

BBMP officials acquitted in 2014 case of Bengaluru girls death from falling into an open drain
news Law Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 10:27

In October 2014, the tragic incident shook Bengaluru when a 9-year-old girl fell into an uncovered drain and got washed away. BBMP officials were charged with negligence as the little girl’s aunt, Lakshmi, had filed a complaint with the JP Nagar Police, alleging that the civic body’s employees had carried out work on the drain on the fateful day and had left it open.

The case, which was being heard at the 44th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, on Monday, acquitted three Palike officials.

The acquitted officials include Shivaprakash K M (53), the then jurisdictional assistant executive engineer, S L K Swamy (45), the then jurisdictional joint engineer, S G Shivakumar (56) and Renukananda V (50).

The girl, Geetha Lakshmi, fell into an uncovered drain around 8.10 pm on October 6, 2014, in front of Janaka Group Office on Bannerghatta Road. At the time, heavy rains had lashed Bengaluru and her body was recovered on October 8, 2014.

Upon investigation, the police had filed a chargesheet with 23 witnesses, of which 21 of them including Mahazar witnesses and the J P Nagar Police did not appear before the court during the hearing.

Due to the absence of witnesses, judge Mala N D, the 44th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate stated in her order that the investigating officer did not secure and produce before the court any of the eye-witnesses, leading the magistrate to conclude that the probe by the investigating officer remained unproved.

“As a result, the prosecution has failed to prove charges against the accused with convincing and corroborative evidences,” the order stated. Only two witnesses were examined in the case -  Lakshmi, the victim’s aunt and Prince Vicky, a worker in a store located near the place where the tragedy had occurred.

Lakshmi had told the city court that she was holding Geetha’s hand, while she suddenly fell into the drain and got washed away.

Vicky denied giving the police any statement at all that he had witnessed the incident but he told the court that the BBMP had carried out some repair work on that day and that the drain had been left uncovered.

 

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