NEW DELHI: In what could be a first, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Kerala government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the sensational allegations of a Navy officer’s estranged wife that her husband and his colleagues on INS Kochi indulged in wife-swapping and tortured her because of her refusal to join them. The SIT has been asked to complete the investigation within three months.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit rejected the complainant’s plea for a CBI probe into the allegations but said, “The facts and circumstances in which the offence is alleged to have been committed can be better investigated into by the state police.”
‘Was tortured for not joining’
A year after her wedding, the petitioner on April 4, 2013 lodged a complaint against her husband, parents-in-law and sister-in-law alleging that they had subjected her to physical and mental cruelty.
She also accused five naval officers and the wife of one of them of sexually abusing her. In a subsequent complaint, the petitioner made the allegation of wife-swapping and implicated a few more persons. 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.