Vandiperiyar case: Kerala HC dismisses plea seeking to include charges under SC/ST Act

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has dismissed a petition that sought to include charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the accused in the sexual assault and murder case of a six-year-old girl at Vandiperiyar in Idukki district.

The petition filed by the girl's father contended that the accused, Arjun, belonged to the Christian community. The petitioner claimed that the documents to show he was from the Scheduled Caste community were fabricated so that he could be exempted from being charged under the SC/ST Act.

But Justice Kauser Edappagath dismissed the petition while pointing out that the documents submitted made it clear that Arjun belonged to the SC/ST community.

The probe officer said it was ascertained during the investigation that the accused belonged to the SC/ST community. The caste certificate, community certificate, his sister's examination certificates were also examined.

But the petitioner also submitted documents that showed the accused's father had converted to Christianity. The court stated that all the documents, which were submitted, clearly showed that the accused belonged to the Scheduled Caste.

The court also evaluated that the statements or other documents did not indicate that the accused assaulted the child knowing that she belonged to the SC/ST community. The court also noted that the investigation had been completed and the final report submitted.

The girl was found dead in the quarters (layam) of estate workers at Vandiperiyar on June 30, 2020.

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