Kochi: It has been pointed out that even a new or a follow-up investigation into Walayar rape and murder case cannot reinstate criminal procedures and enquiries against the accused who were acquitted. According to CrPC, earlier acts cannot be reinstated against the accused who were once acquitted in cases whose trial has been completed.
The accused in the Walayar case were charged with crimes of suicide coercion and provisions under POCSO Act. The trial was completed based on the charge sheets filed based on both the offences and the offenders were acquitted after the court found that they cannot be proven guilty. These charges cannot be reinstated against the offenders even if a new investigation is initiated.
The government is legally devoid of options to order a new investigation in cases where trial and judgement were over. However, a new investigation can be initiated by securing a court judgement. As a preliminary move, an appeal has to be filed in the high court against the lower court's judgement.
The government can plead for a new investigation when the court hears the appeal. The court can order a new investigation after considering the facts and the circumstances if needed.
However, the government can initiate for follow up investigation even without the court's order. The fact that the court has given a ruling in the case is not relevant in the case. Whatever is the case, the charges which were earlier probed and trial completed cannot be subjected to yet another probe and trial. The matters which were not touched by the first investigation can be probed further. Even, new names can be included in the charge sheet. There is nothing barring the police to register same charges against the newly accused as that registered against the acquitted.
However, the offenders cannot be charged with cases for suicide coercion and POCSO offences.
The acquitted persons can be subjected to a new investigation and a charge sheet can be filed against them after registering new charges including that of murder, homicide and threatening.
There are numerous prevailing orders of high courts and the Supreme Court in this regard. The accused can be subjected to justice only after a fool proof investigation backed by strong evidence.