CBI counsel informs the HC that agency has not found evidence to apply section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against the accused in the case of Reay Road youth Agnelo Valdaris' death
Agnelo’s father Leonard Valdaris prays at his son’s grave. File pic
Two months after a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anant Badar of the Bombay High Court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the custodial death of 25-year-old Agnelo Valdaris, the agency informed the court that it was applying section 377 (unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code against 10 personnel of the Wadala Government Railway Police (GRP), including a woman officer.
No evidence for 302
Counsel appearing for the CBI Hiten Venegoankar informed Justice More and Dr Shalini Phansalkar Joshi yesterday that the agency applied section 377 read with 108 of POCSO Act against the accused.
The court was also told that the CBI has not found any evidence to apply section 302 (murder) of the IPC against the 10 officers.
Speaking to mid-day, Venegoankar said, “We are ready with the supplementary chargesheet and can file it in the lower court.” However, the HC kept the matter for hearing on February 19 as Agnelo’s father Leonard Valdaris, who is the petitioner in the case, was not present.
Not an accident
After the incident came to light, the CBI had booked the officers on charges of murder, unnatural sex, kidnapping and falsifying evidence. However, in the chargesheet the agency had only included criminal conspiracy and voluntarily causing hurt.
The petitioner’s counsel Yug Chaudhary had argued that the agency failed to consider material evidence, which clearly points at offence under section 377 of IPC. After going through the witness statements, postmortem report and doctor’s report, the judges had observed that Agnelo’s death was not an accidental one as claimed by the police.
Meanwhile, the charges under which the policemen have been booked will attract a maximum punishment of three years.
Agnelo and three others, including a 15-year-old, were picked up by the railway police on April 15, 2014, from Reay Road for allegedly stealing a gold chain worth Rs 60,000. The complaint had alleged that all four were forced to perform sexual acts on each other and were sexually assaulted and tortured while in custody. After Agnelo died on April 18, cops claimed that a local train hit him while he was trying to flee.
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