The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation to continue its inquiry into the suicide case of a 17-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district, PTI reported.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M Trivedi issued notice on a plea filed by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C Sylendra Babu.
During Monday’s hearing, the bench said it might not be appropriate for it to interject in the investigation of the central agency.
“Let the CBI probe go on,” the court said, according to Bar and Bench. “Please pass on evidence collected to CBI.”
The court also issued a notice on Babu’s demand that some adverse remarks made by the High Court judge, including that the police were attempting to derail the investigation, should be expunged.
The girl reportedly drank poison on January 9 and died 10 days later. Her father had alleged that she had been tortured after she refused to convert to Christianity. The girl’s parents have sought action against a nun who allegedly tried to convert her.
In an unverified video shared on social media last month, the girl could be purportedly seen saying that she had been harassed as her family had refused to convert to Christianity. The girl is seen saying that she was abused by her hostel warden. The minor also claimed that she was forced to clean the hostel and carry out administrative work. The police have arrested the hostel warden.
Thanjavur Superintendent of Police Ravali Priya Gandhapuneni, however, had said that there was no mention of attempted religious conversion in the initial complaint and the girl’s dying declaration. She added that the video recording was given to the police on January 20, a day after the girl died.
However, Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court, in his judgement, had said that there was “nothing inherently improbable” that an attempt at conversion had taken place, The News Minute reported.
The judge also referred to a statement of the Thanjavur superintendent of police that the conversion angle was not made out and said that the comment was not warranted.
The court said that the Information Technology wing of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu had released parts of the video that appeared to exonerate school authorities, and said that this raises doubts about the impartiality of the police’s investigation.
The judge said that the petitioner was justified in believing that an investigation by the district police would be biased.