Soujanya case: HC tells CBI to record statements of witnesses

The Karnataka High Court on Monday expressed unhappiness over the CBI investigation into the sensational rape and murder of 17-year-old student Soujanya Gowda.

The advocate representing Chandrappa Gowda, Soujanya's father, sought fresh investigation into the case before Justice Aravind Kumar. He said the Soujanya murder case was first investigated by the Belthangady police, before whom main eyewitnesses Harish and Gopal had given statements. Later, the case was transferred to the CID and subsequently, to the CBI.

The CBI has submitted the charge sheet, but it has not recorded the statements of these two witnesses, he said.

Justice Kumar observed that the investigation by the CBI seemed suspicious. If it cannot conduct a proper investigation, the court will direct to form a special investigation team, he said.

He directed the advocate for CBI to file an affidavit after consulting the investigating officers, explaining the reason behind not recording the statements of the witnesses and adjourned the hearing to April 17.

Notice to top cops

The High Court has ordered issuance of emergent notice to DG&IGP Neelmani N Raju and Bengaluru city police commissioner T Suneel Kumar in connection with the contempt petition filed by V Shashidhar, president of the Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasabha, for denying permission to campaign for his new political party Rakshana Sene in the police colonies.

A division bench comprising Justice B S Patil and S Sunil Dutt Yadav directed the police officials to file an affidavit by April 24 and adjourned the hearing.

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