Trial in the Scarlett Eden Keeling murder case has suffered a setback as the CBI counsel quit from the case.
Public Prosecutor S R Rivonkar wrote to the CBI expressing his desire to quit from the case, claiming that he would not be able to give enough time for the trial, CBI sources said on Thursday.
Rivonkar divulged his unwillingness to continue with the case last month and since then another lawyer has been assigned the case, they said.
Vikram Varma, counsel of Scarlett's mother Fiona Mackeown, said the exit of Rivonkar from the case was unfortunate.
"The credibility of the CBI cannot be maintained without effective prosecutors. But I hope that the CBI replaces him with an equally competent or better prosecutor," he added.
The British teenager, who was on a holiday to Goa along with her mother Fiona, was allegedly drugged, sexually abused and left to die on Anjuna beach on February 18, 2008.
Two locals, Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho, are being tried in Goa Children's Court for several offences in the case.
The court has examined 15 witnesses during the trial, which has been going on for almost a year, including Fiona, who had initiated the campaign seeking justice for Scarlett.
Goa Police initially treated the case as death due to drowning but later initiated murder investigations after Fiona refused to buy the drowning theory.
The state government had to hand over the case to CBI under immense pressure after the media exposed how the state police botched up the entire investigation to protect the drug mafia operating on the state's coast.