HC pulls up police for lax probe into lawyer's suicide

HC pulls up police for lax probe into lawyer's suicide

The High Court of Karnataka. DH file photo

The High Court of Karnataka has pulled up the police for “lax” investigation into the suicide of a young woman lawyer who was allegedly harassed by a BBMP corporator. 

A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy on Tuesday heard a PIL petition filed by the Advocates’ Association Bangalore (AAB) for a CBI probe into the suicide of Dharani S. The 25-year-old lawyer is suspected to have ended her life at her home in Mahadevapura police station limits, East Bengaluru, on December 31, 2018. 

The association claimed that the lawyer committed suicide as she was unable to bear frequent harassment from some people, including a BBMP corporator, over a property dispute. The AAB further alleged that the corporator is close to a top police officer and hobnobs with a legislator from one of the ruling parties. It maintained that a fair investigation can be conducted only by the CBI or an SIT comprising police officers from outside Karnataka. 

Appearing for the government, Additional Advocate General N Dinesh Rao submitted that the case had been transferred from the Central Crime Branch (CCB) to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). This prompted the court to orally ask why was it done and whether the CCB investigation had failed. It also demanded the names of CCB officers involved in the investigation. 

The court asked the police to file a status report about the investigation in the next 10 days and the adjourned the hearing until March 12.