Published: 28th February 2019
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court orders interim stay on Madurai Kamaraj University sex scandal case
According to the senior counsel appearing for the litigant, there are several irregularities in the investigation conducted by the CB-CID
Dissatisfied with the investigation conducted by the CB-CID into the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) sex scandal, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court ordered stay on all further proceedings in the case.
A division bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar passed the interim order while hearing public interest litigation filed by General Secretary of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) P Suganthi who sought transfer of the investigation of the case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to the senior counsel appearing for the litigant, there are several irregularities in the investigation conducted by the CB-CID. He argued that the CB-CID obtained the call records of Nirmala Devi and conveniently examined only those persons to whom she had conversed after her attempt to lure the college girls and not those she was in touch with before the incident. It was a deliberate act on part of CB-CID as the latter would have easily helped them to throw light on who influenced the professor to commit the offence, stated the counsel. He further pointed out that though more than 100 witnesses were examined during the investigation, only two persons, whose ranks were lower than Nirmala Devi herself, have been arrayed as accused by the CB-CID, not to mention that these two persons do not fit in the description given by Nirmala of very important higher officials of MKU being involved.
He prayed the Court to transfer the case to CBI under a special investigation team, so as to ensure fair investigation. Taking the above contentions into consideration, the Judges noted that though the CB-CID were in possession of the entire call records of Nirmala, no one who was in contact with her before the incident had been examined. Observing so, they stayed all further proceedings in the said case and issued a notice to Joint Director of CBI, Superintendent of Police of CB-CID South wing, Secretary of Devanga Arts College, Aruppukottai and the three accused persons, returnable before March 18. The Court also heard an impleading petition filed by one Nagalakshmi seeking a Court monitored inquiry into the scandal.
During the hearing, the judges raised questions to the government as to why Nirmala is kept in police custody for almost a year, even after the investigation has been completed. "While even murder accused are let out on bail after filing the charge sheet, what is the reason for keeping this accused in prison for such a long time," they questioned, adding that the act of CB-CID and the State was raising suspicion. Nirmala Devi was arrested on April 16 on charges of attempting to lure four girl students of Devanga Arts College to extend sexual favours to some higher officials of MKU, after an audio clipping of her phone conversation with those students went viral in social media platforms. After an investigation, the CB-CID also arrested two more persons namely Murugan, an assistant professor in MKU and Karuppasamy, a research scholar. Karuppasamy and Murugan were granted bail by the Supreme Court recently.