Kerala High Court gives bail to Kadakkavoor POCSO accused; female IPS officer to probe the case

The HC Judge declared that the case is one-of-a-kind and complicated matter, and it has to be dealt with as sensitive as possible
Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has given bail to the accused mother in the Kadakkavoor POCSO case, and instructed a senior IPS office to investigate the case, as it is a complicated matter. The Court has placed strict conditions for the bail with two people standing-in as well as a bond of Rs 1 lakh. The female judge instructed the accused that she is not to do anything that would influence or jeopardise the investigation.

Regarding the investigation, the Court instructed that the case be handled by a female IPS officer, and she is to constitute a medical board for a detailed examination of the victim. The board should consist of a mental health expert as well as a paediatric doctor. If the investigative division sees it fit, then they could remove the child from under his father’s custody and move the victim to a shelter under the aegis of the child welfare committee.

In her bail plea, the mother had claimed that the case questions her motherhood and that she has been falsely accused. She had opposed her husband’s illegal remarriage and had demanded alimony from him. The accused alleged that her husband’s new wife had brainwashed her kids into making this accusation against her.

Supporting their stance, the prosecution claimed that they have retrieved crucial evidence in the case. Apart from the 14-year-old’s complaint, the police have reportedly recovered evidence from the mother’s phone regarding the investigation. Moreover, the investigating officers claimed that the mother had been secretly medicating the victim and that they have recovered the alleged medicines from her possession.

The issues surrounding the case have seen complicated twists. Following the complaint and intervention from the Child Welfare Committee, the police had arrested the child’s mother on December 28. Soon, the mother, as well as her parents, had alleged that the child’s father had coerced him into making such a complaint since the mother disagreed with the latter’s second marriage

The issues began after the woman objected to her husband's second marriage. The woman had only been living separately from the man and had not officially divorced him. Following his remarriage, the man took all of their children with him, and soon after the child filed a complaint against her. The family — the victim has two brothers and a six-year-old sister — has split over the issue. While the victim’s one brother claimed that their father used to beat them up and he has forced the child to make such a statement, another brother stands by the victim’s complaint.

Observing the complexity of the case, DGP Loknath Behera had entrusted the investigation to South Zone IG Harshitha Attaloori. The police had also gotten into trouble with the CWC over the recording of the case. The committee chairperson N Sunanda had alleged lapses in the filing of the First Information Report, especially including her as the informant. She maintained that neither she nor the committee had forwarded the case to the police, nor did they inform. Counselling was conducted through a social worker, and the following report was forwarded to the police.

The police, on the other hand, maintained that a letter purportedly written by the CWC, which started the investigation. They added that the child’s statement to a female magistrate as well as the medical examination report furthered the investigation. This apparent confusion has given birth to an action council demanding action against local police and seeking justice for the mother’.

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