Kerala HC directs government to proceed against Siby Mathews

The court said that the finding in the preliminary inquiry report was an attempt to save the former higher police official from the clutches of the prosecution.
Representational purpose.
Representational purpose.

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the station house officer of the Mannanthala police station to consider the complaint against retired IPS officer Siby Mathews for humiliating the survivor in the 1996 Suryanelli rape case in his book ‘Nirbhayam’ and to proceed within seven days.

It also set aside the decision of the Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram, not to take any action after the complainant alleged that the author of the book revealed the identity of the victim with exact details though her name was not specifically disclosed.

In the book, the names, addresses and all details of the parents of the victim were disclosed with certainty and thereby Siby Mathews committed an offence punishable under Section 228A of IPC.

The court said that the finding in the preliminary inquiry report was an attempt to save the former higher police official from the clutches of the prosecution.

As per the preliminary enquiry final report and the legal opinion given by the Director General of Prosecution, both of them found that the details were sufficient enough to identify the girl as “peedippikkapetta penkutti”. When analysing the Malayalam term “peedippikkapetta penkutti” the same means a victim of ‘sexual assault’ or ‘molestation’ or ‘rape’. So the word would carry the offences dealt with in Section 228A of IPC.

The court issued the order on the petition filed by K K Joshwa, a retired police officer seeking to initiate a case based on the complaint. Advocate Nandagopal S Kurup submitted that the author of the book revealed the identity of the survivor, hence a case should be registered.

HC upholds adult’s right to choose partner despite parental concern

The High Court has ruled in favour of a woman’s right to choose her own partner, stating that parental concerns cannot override adult autonomy. The decision came in response to a habeas corpus filed by Althaf J Muhammed, of Kollam, who is pursuing his Master’s in Transportation Systems in Germany. He alleged that his 27-year-old partner, who works as a project engineer in Thiruvananthapuram, is under illegal detention of her parents. Appearing at the court through a video conference, the woman expressed her desire to be with Muhammed despite them belonging to different religions. The court emphasised the importance of habeas corpus in protecting individual liberties, citing previous Supreme Court cases. As a result, the woman was granted freedom to join Muhammed.

Come together in name of god and end Church dispute: HC

The High Court said that it is time for the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church to come together in the name of Jesus Christ and end the conflict concerning handing over churches, as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court in the K S Varghese case. The court emphasised that if members of the two factions believe in the law and in Jesus, they should not act like this. The court questioned the purpose of the eight-decade-long conflict and called for an end to it. “The K S Varghese case was expected to put a quietus to everything, but nothing has happened. It’s become far worse. Generations of lawyers have been involved in the case,” said Justice Devan Ramachandran. The single-judge bench made the observation while considering the contempt case against the state chief secretary for not complying with the order to hand over St Thomas Orthodox Syrian Church, Cherukunnam; St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Mangalam Dam; and, St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Erickinchira to the Orthodox faction.

Sidharthan death: HC allows accused Naseef to write exam, rejects plea of former union chairman

The High Court has directed Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University to permit Naseef V, of Kozhikode, an accused in the J S Sidharthan murder case and a student of Government Veterinary College, Pookode, to appear for the final-year examination of BVSc and AH course. At the same time, the court rejected a similar plea filed by former college union chairman Arun K, another accused in the case. When the petition filed by Naseef seeking permission to attend the exam to be held from June 13 to July 2 came up for hearing, Justice Ziyad Rahman said: “I have considered the fact that, in case, it is found in the inquiry now in progress that the petitioner is innocent, the denial of opportunity to attend the examination will cause serious prejudice to him.”

Forged titles: Govt asked to form SIT to probe case

The High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to appoint a special investigation team comprising senior police officers and revenue officials to look into the alleged involvement of revenue officials in the forgery of property titles in the Idukki district. The court also asked the government to present the details of the special team before it. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing police investigation into the cases related to the forging of titles. It highlighted that out of 42 cases concerning illegal titles, 18 forgery cases were registered for fabricating titles to acquire government land. The court noted the absence of provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act in these cases and emphasised the inclusion of Section 120 B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the investigation.

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