August 2, 2017 10:24:26 pm
The CBI on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that eight railway personnel will be booked for allegedy sexually abusing a 25-year-old man, who was in their custody on suspicion of robbery, but there was no evidence to show he was murdered by them. The CBI’s counsel Hiten Venegaonkar today told a division bench headed by Justice Ranjit More that the agency would charge the eight Government Railway Police (GRP) officials under IPC section 377 (unnatural sex).
The CBI will soon file a supplementary charge sheet to this effect in the trial court, Venegaonkar said. He said the CBI had found evidence that the man was physically and sexually abused by the accused policemen while he was in their custody, but it had not found any prima facie evidence to book them for his alleged killing.
Valdaris and three others were picked up by the Wadala GRP personnel on charges of robbery on April 15, 2014. For the next three days the men were allegedly stripped, tortured and even forced to have oral sex.
On April 18, 2014 Valdaris died allegedly in custody while the others were released on bail on April 22. After his death, the Wadala police claimed that Valdaris tried to escape from custody and was run over by a train.
However, the father of the deceased approached the high court seeking a CBI probe, which was allowed. The CBI, in its FIR, booked eight officials of the GRP in Wadala on charges of murder, unnatural sex, kidnapping and falsifying evidence and so on.
However, in its charge sheet filed in January this year, the CBI charged the accused only with criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing hurt and other lesser charges. The charges under which the policemen were booked attract a maximum punishment of three years, in contrast to the life sentence, had they been charged with the man’s killing.
The high court had then come down heavily on the CBI, observing that prima facie evidence points to offence of murder and unnatural sex against the accused persons. The court had then directed the CBI to take a relook at the evidence in the case and file a supplementary report.
The high court today directed the advocate appearing for Valdaris’s father to respond to the CBI’s claim that no murder charge was made out against the accused person. The court then posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
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