Gujarat HC Orders Action Against Officers Who Didn't Investigate Murder 'for Intercaste Marriage'

Despite noting a suspicion of an "unnatural" cause of death, local police had failed to register an FIR in the case last October.

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New Delhi: The Gujarat high court has ordered for action to be taken against two officers of the Banaskantha police and an inspector of the Dhanera police station for their inaction in investigating a case of suspected “honour killing”, the Times of India reported on Tuesday, October 5.

The bench of Justice Geeta Gopi ordered action to be taken as per the Gujarat Police Act, 1951, against Tarun Duggal, Banaskantha district superintendent of police (DSP), Pooja Yadav, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) as well as a police inspector from Dhanera for the dereliction of duty and grave misconduct in investigating the case.

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The case in question deals with the death of Chandhubhai Samaratabhai Chenabhai, a 22-year-old man whose body was found hanging from a tree in his native village of Bhatib, in October of last year.

Chenabhai had married one Pinaben in September, 2020, following which the couple settled in Rajasthan. However, Pinaben’s family allegedly took objection to the union since the two belonged to different castes. 

Pinaben’s family allegedly abducted the couple from Rajasthan and kept them in the Jadi village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha village. However, Chenabhai managed to escape his captors and return to Bhatib, where he hailed from. 

On October 18, shortly after he returned, Chenabhai went missing. His body was found hanging from a tree two days later.

Chenabhai’s family tried to register an FIR with the Dhanera police but the death was registered as “accidental”. The family further noted that the victim’s body showed signs of injury which would suggest that he had been killed before being hanged and urged the police to file an FIR under IPC Section 302 (murder). However, the police did not do so, which prompted one member of the family to move court.

Yadav, the ASP of Tharad, had filed a report which indicated signs of an unnatural cause of death, yet she failed to direct the Dhanera police inspector to file an FIR.

The court directed the District Police Complaints Authority to take action against the inspector and requested the same from the State Police Complaints Authority with respect to the other officers, the Ahmedabad Mirror reported.

The court also directed the CID to file an FIR in the matter under various IPC sections, including murder and asked for a report to be filed within 15 days.