The Supreme Court of India on Thursday ordered the Kerala government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the sensational allegations of a Navy officer’s wife that her husband and his colleagues on INS Kochi indulged in wife-swapping. She has been physically and mentally tortured because she refused to join them. The SIT has been asked to complete the investigation within three months.
However the bench consisting of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit rejected the plea for a CBI probe, said,
“The facts and circumstances in which the offence is alleged to have been committed can be better investigated into by the state police.”
A year after their wedding, the petitioner on April 4, 2013 lodged a serious complaint against her husband, parents-in-law and sister-in-law for physical and mental cruelty.
She also further accused five naval officers and the wife of one of them of sexually abusing her. In a subsequent complaint, she added a few more persons in the accused list.
She had petitioned the apex court in 2013 seeking transfer of proceedings pending before the Kerala high court, which had ordered a thorough investigation into the matter, to Delhi HC alleging that she faced a threat to her life in Kerala. In September 2013, the SC stayed proceedings in the Kerala HC.
While rejecting the CBI probe Justice Banumathi, said,
“Mere apprehension that the accused are influential may not be sufficient to transfer the case. Since a special team of state police officers is constituted for further investigation, we are not inclined to order transfer of the proceedings pending before Kerala HC to Delhi HC.”
The SC in September 2013 issued notices to the Kerala government, the commander of Southern Naval Command, her husband and five other officers.
The petitioner had alleged that after getting married in March 2012, she had accompanied her husband to Kochi. She accused her husband of forcing her to take part in “wife swapping” parties and annexed with her petition some purported invitation cards for the purpose.
She also alleged that she was sexually assaulted by her husband’s friends, colleagues and superiors. The Harbour Police station in Kochi had lodged an FIR on her complaint naming her husband, his family members and five naval officers.
Supreme Court orders probe into wife-swap by navy officers https://t.co/zAHle3USYq
— TOI India (@TOIIndiaNews) May 12, 2016