House adjourned with Opposition demand for CBI inquiry going unheeded
The 16th session of the 14th Legislative Assembly began on a stormy note on Monday with the Opposition UDF forcing adjournment of the House after the government refused to heed their demand for a CBI probe into the alleged lapses that led to Palakkad POCSO court’s recent acquittal of three accused in a case involving the sexual exploitation and mysterious deaths of two girl siblings at Attappalam, Walayar, in 2017.
Moving the notice seeking leave for an adjournment motion on the issue, Shafi Parambil (Congress) said the CPI(M) which heads the ruling front had intervened to sabotage the investigation and help the accused.
“A proper investigation could have helped save the life of the second girl. The lawyer who represented the accused has been made the chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee. The court has observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges.” Mr. Parambil said intervention of the ruling party was clear and that only a CBI inquiry would solve the mystery.
To go in appeal
In his reply, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the acquittal was shocking and the government would look into the lapses and whether a reinvestigation or CBI inquiry was needed. The government would appeal against the verdict and seek the services of an experienced lawyer, Mr. Vijayan said while intimating the details of the case and the action taken against the sub-inspector who erred in the initial investigation.
The LDF government had taken stern action in criminal cases against women and children, Mr. Vijayan said. During this LDF’s government’s tenure, 9,836 cases had been registered for sexually exploiting children and 9,918 persons arrested in in 8,907 cases till September this year.
‘No politics involved’
“The government is always with the victims and there is no politics in it,” Mr. Vijayan said after the Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala pressed for CBI inquiry. Mr. Chennithala said only 16.7% of the accused in POCSO cases were convicted.
The UDF legislators were not satisfied by Mr. Vijayan’s reply and trooped into the well of the House shouting slogans. In the din, the Chief Minister replied to the calling attention by S. Sarma on the privatisation of the PSU oil major BPCL.
As the UDF legislators stepped up their protest, Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan adjourned the House after completing the listed business without any discussion. The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Amendment) Bill 2019 and he Kerala Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers Welfare Fund (Amendment) Bill 2019 were referred to the subject committee.