The father of 25-year old Agnelo Valdaris, who died in the custody of the Wadala Government Railway Police (GRP) in 2014, along with two others, filed a protest petition before the special court on Wednesday seeking that the CBI be directed to file a chargesheet on charges of murder against the accused police personnel.
Last November, the Supreme Court had directed the special court to examine all aspects of the case and decide under which sections can the accused be tried.
The Bombay High Court, in 2019, had said that Agnelo’s death was a prima facie case of custodial death and directed the special court to frame charges of murder and destruction of evidence against the accused police personnel. The SC order came on an appeal filed by the police personnel against the HC order.
In April 2014, Agnelo, along with three others, including a minor, was apprehended by the Wadala GRP for a probe into a theft case. The four were allegedly sexually abused and physically tortured by the accused. On April 18, 2014, the police claimed that Agnelo had died after being run over by a train while escaping from custody.
Agnelo’s father, Leonard, had moved the HC stating that Agnelo had not died in the train accident but was murdered. The HC, in its order in December 2019, had said that the three others picked up along with Agnelo had said in their statements that he was in no position to walk after being assaulted by the police personnel and that there were “inconsistencies” in the CBI probe.
The protest petition sought that the court rejects the three chargesheets filed by the CBI in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and the central agency be directed to file a supplementary chargesheet under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
The petition added that evidence shows that Angelo did not die in the train accident, as was being portrayed and that there are no station diary entries to show when he was taken out of custody before the alleged accident.
While the CBI had filed chargesheets under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, as the police personnel had been accused of sexually abusing the minor, the agency has maintained that Angelo had died in the train accident.
The SC, in its order last November, had said that the findings of the HC will not be treated as binding on the special court and it should independently apply its mind. It had also said that the victims were at liberty to file protest petitions to be dealt by the trial court in accordance with law.
The special court directed the accused and the CBI to file a reply to the protest petition on Wednesday and posted the matter for further hearing next month.
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