Kerala HC rejects plea for CBI probe into killing of Dr Vandana Das

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas rejected the plea moved by the doctor's parents alleging that the police, "in a haste to wash their hands clean", had fabricated the FIR

Doctor Vandana Das was stabbed to death on May 10, 2023, by a school teacher G Sandeep. (Photo: IANS)
Doctor Vandana Das was stabbed to death on May 10, 2023, by a school teacher G Sandeep. (Photo: IANS)
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PTI

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, 6 January dismissed a plea seeking a CBI probe into the brutal killing of Dr Vandana Das by a patient at a taluk hospital in Kollam district in May last year, saying there is no reason to doubt the integrity or credibility of the police investigation.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas rejected the plea moved by the doctor's parents alleging that the police, "in a haste to wash their hands clean", had fabricated the First Information Statement.

The court said that in cases where the police are under a scanner of doubt, and the fingers are pointed against them, investigation can be entrusted to the CBI.

"However, the said principle is not an inflexible rule. In the instant case, as noticed earlier, there is no allegation of any criminal intent or act committed by any of the police officers. Petitioners (victim's parents) only allege ‘an act of cowardice’ by the police.

"No serious flaws could be pointed out by the petitioners in the manner in which the investigation was conducted. Except for certain omissions on the part of the police who had accompanied Sandeep (accused) to the hospital. An omission to act in an expected manner cannot by itself impute criminality," it said.

G Sandeep, a school teacher by profession, was brought to the taluk hospital by the police for medical treatment during the small hours of May 10, 2023 and he had gone on a sudden attacking spree using a pair of surgical scissors kept in the room where his leg injury was being dressed.

He had initially attacked the police officers and a private person who had accompanied him to the hospital and then turned on the young doctor who could not escape to safety.

She was stabbed several times and later succumbed to injuries in a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram where she was rushed following the attack.

The court said that there is no allegation that the police officers who brought the accused to the hospital had any criminal intent while allegedly fleeing from the scene of occurrence.

"An error in their judgment or mistaking the gravity of the acts of the accused are not reasons to assume complicity in the crime.

"The petitioners also do not have a case that any of those police officers had any motive or criminal intent or that they had allegedly withdrawn themselves from the scene of occurrence with criminal intent," the court said.

It further said that the allegations in the instant case do not strictly point to the involvement of any police personnel in the crime and moreover, disciplinary proceedings were pending against those who were present at the hospital at the time of the incident.

"Since the petitioners have not been able to point out any specific reason to doubt the integrity or credibility of the investigation, this court finds no reason to interfere with the investigation already conducted or to transfer it to the CBI. Accordingly, there is no merit in this writ petition, and it is dismissed," the court said.

The victim's parents, in their plea, had alleged that the Kottarakkara police in a haste to wash their hands clean had fabricated the First information Statement allegedly given by the friend of the deceased which was obtained intercepting him midway to the hospital, while taking her for treatment.

The petition had also said that the police in order to "hide their security lapses" have been investigating the crime in a very "lackadaisical and apathetic approach."

The victim was a native of Kaduthuruthy area of Kottayam district and the only child of her parents.

Dr Das was a house surgeon at Azeezia Medical College Hospital and was working at the Kottarakkara taluk hospital as part of her training.

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Published: 06 Feb 2024, 2:10 PM
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