"...According to CBI the burns were allegedly caused when Anitha's cigarette came into contact with nail polish remover &burst into flames.The coroner's office in US had ruled that the death was an accident..."
Court returns CBI report on woman's death
The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court here on Thursday returned the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case related to the death of a Malayali woman in the US.
The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by K Gopinathan of Palakkad, father of Anitha Pathiyil, who had died of burns at a hospital in California in August 2004.
Anitha's husband and in-laws were named as accused in a case filed at the Hemambika Nagar police station in Palakkad. The case was subsequently handed over to the CBI in 2009 and it filed a report saying it could not find any incriminating evidence against the accused. It said there was an absence of materials disclosing any demand for dowry.
Gopinathan, who requested the court to order a re-investigation, said his daughter was tortured for dowry by her husband and in-laws since her marriage in September 2000. He argued that the CBI did not collect evidence properly and did not visit the place where the incident occurred.
According to the CBI report, the burns were allegedly caused when Anitha's cigarette came into contact with nail polish remover and burst into flames. The agency submitted that the Fire Investigation Unit which looked into the matter in the US had also ruled the death as an accident.
The coroner's office in the US had ruled that the death was an accident. However the petition alleged that the cause of death was decided based on the statement given by Anitha's husband, the first accused himself, and noted that he had not returned to India after her death.
Considering the facts, CJM V Hari Nair said the report submitted by the CBI was unacceptable. The report "is returned for collection of further evidence by the investigating agency at the earliest," said the court in its order.