The Bombay High Court directed the CBI Wednesday to add Section 377 (unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to the 2014 Wadala custodial death case against 10 police officials in its supplementary chargesheet if prima facie evidence pointed to the offence. A division bench of Justice R V More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a petition filed by Leonard Valdaris, father of victim Agnelo Valdaris.
The CBI chargesheet mentions only sections of criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing hurt and other lesser charges. Sections pertaining to murder and unnatural sex were not part of it.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar told the court that the accused had been booked under Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act — “as stringent as Section 377”.
Yug Choudhary, who appeared for the petitioner, said some of the evidence and statements suggested brutal sexual act forced to be performed on the youth. He added that some of the victims were adults and POCSO won’t apply to them. “Section 377 should be incorporated after considering the material evidence,” he said. The next hearing is on December 19.
Picked up by the Wadala railway police on charges of robbery, Valdaris and his friends were allegedly brutally tortured in custody. Valdaris died in custody and the police had claimed that he was hit by a train while trying to escape.