Kerala HC sets aside acquittal of accused in Palakkad sisters rape and death case
Kerala High Court on Wednesday set aside a Palakkad Special Court verdict acquitting all the accused in the rape and death case of two minor siblings at Walayar in Palakkad in the year 2017.
The court also ordered a re-trial in the case and that all four accused should appear before the trial court on January 20.
The court has also given liberty to the prosecution to seek further investigation in the case.One of the four accused, Pradeep Kumar, died last year in a suspected suicide. The remaining accused are Valiya Madhu, Kutty Madhu and Shibu.
While considering the appeal, the Court pointed out that, "the sob story unfolded from the records in these cases utterly shock our conscience. It ought to have been so for the investigator, the prosecutor and the trial court too."
" It is high time for the political and bureaucratic executive to understand that inexcusable flaws in the investigation into serious offences will only bring disrepute to the administrative setup. State govt should take up serious steps to educate police officers," it said.
"We are disheartened to note the manner in which the Special Judge conducted the trial. He failed to perform a proactive role at the time of taking evidence," it added.
In October 2019, a Special Court at Palakkad had acquitted four persons. The elder sister, aged 13, was found hanging in her house on January 13, 2017.
Within two months, her nine-year-old sibling was also found hanging in her house on March 4, 2017. As per the postmortem reports, both the girls were subjected to sexual assault. The autopsy report in the case of the younger girl even suggested the possibility of homicidal hanging.