Bhubaneswar, Nov 30:
The two-member team of the National Women’s Commission— Hemlata Kheria and Manasi Pradhan— probing the Tikiri lady teacher burning case, on Saturday asked the state government to file an affidavit providing details of the victim’s dying declaration.
The Commission, in a notice under Section 10(4) Clause (c) of National Commission for Women Act 1990, has asked the government to a file a copy of the affidavit within a week.
In reply to its query relating to the victim’s dying declaration, the state government had sent a letter to the Commission along with its own views on the dying declaration which the inquiry committee has refused to accept.
“The dying declaration of a victim pertaining to the cause of her own death assumes critical importance in any investigation as it is accepted as standalone evidence in court under Section 32(1) of Indian Evidence Act. Hence, we have asked the state government to file an affidavit in the matter”, NCW Member Manasi Pradhan said.
Earlier, deposing before the Commission in Bhubaneswar, the state DGP was asked to file a fresh FIR based on the victim’s dying declaration as required under law and as exemplified in several cases before the Supreme Court.
The NCW members also expressed their displeasure over the failure of the state police to arrest the person who had set the lady teacher ablaze, even after one month of the incident.
“We had asked the state Director General of Police (DGP) to form special teams to nab the culprits. But it is extremely surprising that even after one month the state police have failed to issue a sketch of the prime accused so far,” the inquiry committee said in its letter.
The NCW committee would seek a detailed report on the action taken by the state authorities on Monday and is expected to submit its report within a week.
The NCW team, during its weeklong visit to the state, had called up top government officials including the chief secretary, DGP, School and Mass Education secretary, Rayagada collector and SP for questioning and recorded their statements.