New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday issued notice on a petition seeking transfer of investigation, from from Kerala Police to CBI, into a navy officer's wife allegations of gang rape and torture against her husband and his colleagues for refusing to participate in their "wife-swapping".
A bench of Chief Justice P.Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, while issuing the notice, tagged the petition with an earlier petition where the apex court had stayed proceedings before the Kerala High Court on a petition by her husband's colleagues seeking the quashing of FIR in which they have been named for alleged gang rape.
The estranged wife, in the earlier petition, had sought the transfer of case from Kerala High Court to Delhi High Court or any other high court.
The notice has been issued to the central government, the Kerala government, the Southern Naval Command chief, the commandant of the Kochi Naval Base, the husband - Lt. Ravi Kiran Kabdulla and ten others.
She has sought initiation of appropriate proceedings against her husband and restrain him from interfering with the process of justice.
The woman said that she came in the contact with Kabdulla when she was preparing for her GMAT examination in Mumbai and on the promise of marrying her, was allegedly sexually exploited by him.
As she later realised that Kabdulla started avoiding her, she lodged a complaint against him and his parents. Both were married March 9, 2012, following a compromise.
She alleged that she was again tortured by her husband and his family members after she refused to claim her share of property from her US-based brother. The woman said that her husband used to taunt saying that she was "mentally challenged and that he never wanted to marry her".
She has alleged in her petition that she used to be "tortured mentally and physically" after she refused to participate in the "wife swapping" parties that were used be held.
"The petitioner (estranged wife) was subjected to most humiliating and traumatic ordeal in Kochi at the Naval Base when the friends, colleagues and superiors of the respondent (husband) physically and sexually assaulted the petitioner in the presence of her husband...", the petition said.
The woman said that she lodged a complaint with the Harbour Police Station, Kochi naming all and also March 5, 2013, wrote to the Chief of naval Staff but no action was taken against them.
Seeking the transfer of investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any independent agency, she said in her petition: "Even when the aforesaid allegations are there, it is pity that police has taken a casual, lukewarm approach and has not cared to register a crime involving an offence of gang rape."
The petitioner said that "...she had gone to the General Hospital Ernakulam were she had undergone treatment. Even now, the matter is being proceeded with just as a case of mere matrimonial offence registered under Section 498A IPC only."