PANAJI: The CBI has moved the Bombay High Court challenging the Goa Children's Court order acquitting the two persons charged with sexually abusing British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling and leaving her to die on state's Anjuna beach in 2008.
The petition was filed with the Goa bench of HC on February 3 by Central Bureau of Investigation claiming that Special Judge Vandana Tendulkar did not apply her mind while delivering the judgement due to which both the accused went scot-free.
"CBI has filed petition before Goa Bench of Bombay High Court challenging the order of Goa Children's Court wherein both the accused in Scarlett Eden Keeling death case were acquitted," a senior CBI official told PTI.
Scarlett's bruised, semi-nude corpse was found on the famous Anjuna beach on February 18, 2008. Two locals – Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho -- were accused of leaving the girl to die on the beach after drugging and sexually abusing her.
The case, which was initially investigated by Goa police, was later handed over to CBI by the state government after Scarlett's mother, Fiona Mackeown, raised doubts on the investigations.
Goa Children's Court after examining several witnesses, on September 23 last year acquitted both the accused, eight years after the death of the 15-year-old girl.
The court ruled that the prosecution could not establish offence against both the accused.
The CBI which was unhappy with the judgement has said in its petition that "Special Judge had not applied her judicial mind, both on the points of law and on facts of the case." "The judge has wrongly came to the conclusion that there was a delay in recording statement of the witnesses," the CBI has said in their petition.
Meanwhile, Vikram Varma, lawyer representing Scarlett’s mother, said that the autopsy confirmed that she was raped and murdered.
"Substantial evidence was destroyed and there was conscious delay in handing over the investigation to the CBI. The criminal justice system consists of many cogs and wheels, anyone of which can subvert the entire system. This has been such a case so far," he added.