Fast track court dismisses investigating agency's plea challenging the authority of the additional chief metropolitan magistrate to direct it to investigate the Dell employee's case, already probed and shut by police

The tug-of-war between a city lower court and the CBI over whether the former has the authority to direct the latter to reinvestigate cases, ended with a fast track court instructing the investigating agency to take up the case of Payal Surekha, the 29-year-old employee of Dell who was found murdered in her J P Nagar flat last December.

Dindayal Surekha alleged that the police framed James for Payal Surekha's murder, while her husband Anant Narayana Mishra and his parents conspired to kill his daughter

Earlier, when the 5th additional chief metropolitan magistrate asked the CBI to reinvestigate the case, already shut by city police, the investigative agency denied to do so on the grounds that a lower court does not have the authority to give such directions.

Superiority complex?
In their contention, the CBI added that only High Courts and the Supreme Court have the power to refer cases to the investigation agency.

However, the defence counsel M R Nanjunda Gowda argued before the Fast Track Court that the magistrate court has issued orders on the basis of a High Court directive.

"The High Court has delegated the powers to magistrate court to issue necessary directions to either CBI or CID for investigations, based on the sensitivity of a case," he said.

After hearing the arguments of the parties, the fast track court dismissed the CBI plea and ordered them to investigate the case. "We are hopeful that the case will be handled by the CBI more professionally now," Dindayal Sureka, Payal's father, told MiD DAY.

The city police have shut the case after accused James Kumar Roy, a business partner of Payal's husband Anant Narayana Mishra, confessed to his crime.

While the police have called it an usual revenge murder, Dindayal smells a rat in the unusually fast closure of the case and accuses the police of covering Payal's in-laws, who allegedly conspired to kill her.

According Dindayal, he grew suspicious of the behaviour of Payal's husband Anant and his parents Rudra Narayana Mishra, a retired ACP from Orissa, and Basanthi Devi Narayana Mishra, a retired DCP from Orissa after the murder.
"They did not even turn up to see the body of Surekha citing there is nobody at home to take care of their dog. This goes to show how much the cared for and respected my daughter," he said.

In his petition filed before the high court in June, Dindayal had alleged that the local police have deliberately not done a through investigation into the case to save the Mishras, who still hold immense clout and sympathy within the police fraternity, despite lots of incriminating evidence pointing towards their involvement.

Dindayal further alleged that the police framed James as an accused in the case, while it was actually Anant and his parents who conspired to kill Payal. "The police have brushed under the carpet clinching evidence that established their involvement," he added.

The victim's father had also filed a petition with the then city police chief, Shankar Bidri, but to no avail. Disheartened, he then approached the high court seeking necessary directions.

"We feel that the local police have show partiality and favouritism in conducting fair investigations despite several leads that could have been explored," said Gowda.