Girl's death in drain: Court acquits four BBMP officials

Girl's death in drain: Court acquits four BBMP officials

21 of 23 witnessess do not appear before magistrate

Girl's death in drain: Court acquits four BBMP officials

A city court has acquitted four Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, who were charged with being responsible for the death of Geetha Lakshmi (9) who was washed away after she fell into an uncovered drain on Bannerghatta Road on October 6, 2014.

The officials who have been acquitted are Shivaprakash K M (53), the then jurisdictional assistant executive engineer, S L K Swamy (45), the then jurisdictional joint engineer, S G Shivakumar (56) and Renukananda V (50).

The girl fell into an uncovered drain during the rain around 8.10 pm in front of Janaka Group office, Pai International Showroom, Bannerghatta Road. Her body was recovered on October 8, 2014.

The victim’s aunt Lakshmi in her complaint to the police had stated that the BBMP officials carried out works in the day, but did not cover the drainage which led to the girl’s death.
Of the 23 witnesses named in the charge sheet, 21 including eye-witnesses, mahazar witnesses and the J P Nagar police, under whose jurisdiction the incident had occurred, did not appear before the court.

Considering the absence of these witnesses, Mala N D, the 44th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate stated in her order that the investigating officer did not secure and produce before the court any of the eye-witnesses, which meant the investigation by the investigating officer remained unproved.

“As a result, the prosecution has failed to prove charges against the accused with convincing and corroborative evidences,” the magistrate noted. Only two witnesses were examined in the case, Lakshmi, the victim’s aunt and Prince Vicky, a worker in a store located near the place of the incident.

Lakshmi told the court that she was holding the hands of Geetha Lakshmi when the girl suddenly fell into the drainage and was washed away. Vicky denied giving any statement to the police and turned partially hostile. He told the court that there was some repair work on that day and the drainage was left uncovered.