Prosecution Director General of Kerala Manjeri Shreedharan Nair said that an appeal would be filed in the sexual assault and death of the Walayar sisters. The court would be approached seeking a re-trial into the case. Sreedharan Nair also said that the government would inspect the possibilities of a fresh investigation. It is after his discussion with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram that the Prosecution Director General told the media this.
Though there has been a clamour for a reinvestigation of the case, according to the law however, such a reprobe into the charges from which an accused is either convicted or acquitted is forbidden by the law. However, the accused can be investigated for charges that were not raised earlier. In the Walayar case, the five men were charged with rape, assault, abetment to suicide besides sections of POCSO. However, they were not charged with murder.
A report in The Hindu says that another legal option was to move the High Court or Supreme Court to quash the earlier investigation and trial.
However, this seems unlikely as the state government has decided to file an appeal as well as to replace the public prosecutor.
Since last week, the acquittal of the accused by a Palakkad court has triggered a huge public outcry with the Congress and the BJP taking it up in a big way and demanding a CBI probe.
NCSC summons officials
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) on Tuesday said that it will summon the Kerala Chief Secretary and the state police chief over the manner in which the Walayar sisters case was handled.
This was announced by L Murugan, vice-chairman of the NCSC who came to visit the home of the two minor sisters who were found dead in their house in 2017. Speaking to the media after visiting the home of the girls, Murugan said that it is very clear now that the public prosecutor did not coordinate with the mother of the victims.
"The police never did a proper probe and there was no coordination at all with the mother of the kids. Hence both the Chief Secretary and the DGP will be summoned," said Murugan.
State police chief Lokanath Behera told the media that he is yet to get the October 25 order acquitting the accused. "We are waiting for it and I assure that after going through the order, strict action will be taken if there are any lapses. I see this as an emotional matter, as it involves two young children and view it seriously," said Behera.
The case surfaced in January 2017, when a 13-year-old girl's body was found by her nine-year-old sister in her house in a village in Palakkad district. Two months later, the younger girl was also found dead in her home in similar circumstances.
Though the police arrested five persons including a juvenile, the accused were let off last week by a court for want of evidence as the prosecution failed to prove the case against them.