The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Kerala Police to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the wife-swapping scandal that had rocked the Navy in 2013.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, however, declined the plea of an estranged wife of a naval officer in which she sought a CBI probe to inquire into the sexual assault case the woman lodged in Kochi.
The SIT team will be headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG) rank officer and the court ordered the probe to be complete within three months.
After the petitioner made the allegations three years ago, the then Union defence minister AK Anthony promised a probe.
The 26-year-old woman accused her husband’s colleagues and senior officer of gang-raping her. She also accused her husband of harassing her physically when she refused to take part in wife-swapping.
The complainant claimed that no action was taken against the accused despite her filing formal complaints with the Harbour Police Station, Kochi and the chief of Naval staff.
The petitioner complained that the Kerala police was shielding the accused and demanded a CBI probe. But the apex court felt the allegations against the state police were baseless. It said the central agency should not be burdened with cases and its intervention should only be called for when there is lack of confidence in the local police.
The Supreme Court also directed the Kerala Legal Services Authority to provide the petitioner assistance of a senior lawyer to represent her in the Kerala High Court.