The Scarlett Keeling investigation has hit a state of limbo with Goa Police claiming the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has taken over and the CBI stating they have not received any instruction to take the case.
The result is that there has been no investigation since the Goa Government and police claimed they had called in the CBI on April 2. Key witness Michael Mannion, a British national, is also forced to stay in India indefinitely after a Look Out Circular (LOC) was sent to all ports, despite deposing his witness statement on March 18.
“We have not taken over the Scarlett Keeling case and have received no instruction regarding it so I cannot possibly comment,” said G Mohanty, CBI spokesman. The Goa Police gave a similar response. “The case is no longer with us so we cannot comment on the LOC for Mannion. The CBI have taken the case,” said Inspector General of Goa Police, Kishan Kumar.
There are doubts over whether the Goa Government followed the correct procedure when applying for the CBI to take over the case.
“The Goa Government should have issued an official notification demanding the CBI immediately take over the case, but all they did was send a request letter,” said Keeling family lawyer Vikram Varma. “It has been over three weeks and we are still waiting.”
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was not available to comment.
On the other hand, Mannion says he has done all he can to assist the police case and is desperate to return home to London to his sick father and job.
“My life is on hold and I just want to return home,” Mannion told HT. “I have nothing to hide — if I did then why would I have come back to Goa in the first place?
“My father in London is unwell and his health is deteriorating. I am also running out of money and need to get back to work.”
Mannion told the police he saw the main accused, Samson D’Souza, on top of Keeling less than two hours before she was found dead.
Vikram Varma, who is also representing Mannion, will submit an application to the High Court on Monday to lift the LOC on Mannion.
Meanwhile, Keeling’s mother Fiona MacKeown is due to return to Goa this weekend to continue her fight for justice.