Friday, April 29, 2011

SC notices to Gujarat, CBI in ashram deaths case

Ahmedabad:The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the state home department and CBI asking them to give reason as to why the petition demanding an independent probe in the mysterious death of two children at the Asaram Ashram Gurukul should not be admitted.
Cousins — Dipesh and Abhishek Waghela — were found dead in July 2008 on the Sabarmati riverbank right behind the ashram with their bodies completely mutilated. Since the children were staying at the Motera gurukul, parents demanded a thorough probe against the ashram’s office bearers and accused them of indulging in black magic at the behest of the spiritual leader, which might have been the cause of death.
The parents sought a CBI probe from the Gujarat high court. The court simultaneously heard the petition filed by seven ashram office bearers who demanded quashing of the FIR against them. While Justice Akil Kureshi refused to hand over the probe to CBI, he struck down the culpable homicide section (304 of IPC) from the FIR which has stringent penalty and permitted the probe agency — CID (crime), to retain the rash and negligent act section (304A), 34, 114 of IPC along with section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The high court concluded that the seven sadhaks should not be considered accused for culpable homicide, but they prima facie seemed accused of showing negligence which resulted in death, for the kids were in their custody.
Parents of the deceased kids, Praful and Shantilal Waghela, approached the SC challenging the high court’s decision. After a preliminary hearing of their appeal, a bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice B S Chauhan issued show-cause notice to the Gujarat government and CBI at the stage of admission.

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