Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 25: The case related to the controversial death of Pearlystone Joshua Marbaniang, the former Officer-in-Charge of Patharkhmah Police Outpost in Ri-Bhoi District is now under the scanner of the Supreme Court.
Marbaniang’s mother Dorothy Marbaniang has moved the top court seeking justice for her son and a CBI probe into his death. She filed the special leave petition through her lawyer Shailesh Madiyal.
The Supreme Court bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Indira Banerjee while hearing the special leave petition today has decided to issue notice to the Meghalaya government on the matter. The next hearing is likely to be held on March 3.
Among the State respondents in the case include the Commissioner Secretary (Home), Director General of Police, Superintendent of Police of Ri Bhoi District, Officer in Charge of Nongpoh Police Station, and the Special Investigation Team headed by Inspector Jeffrey W. Suting.
It may be mentioned that Pearlystone Joshua Marbaniang, who was the in-charge of Patharkhmah police outpost in Ri Bhoi district, was found lying in a critical stage inside his official quarter with a gunshot on his head on the night of January 24, 2015. He died a few hours later.
However in its report submitted, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the State government to probe into the incident had concluded that ‘it was a case of suicide’.
Not satisfied with the findings of the SIT, Marbaniang’s mother had in 2016 filed a petition before the Meghalaya High Court seeking that the case be handed over to the CBI.
The division bench of Meghalaya High Court in its judgement passed on March 22, 2016 had ruled that since investigation being complete and report having been submitted to the court, no further order appears requisite.
“This petition is, therefore, taken as redundant now; and stands disposed of as such but without prejudice to the right of either of the parties in taking recourse to appropriate proceedings in accordance with law,” the High Court had said.
Following this, Marbaniang’s mother filed an appeal in May 2016 before the Supreme Court and sought an interim ex-parte stay on the final judgement and order of the Meghalaya High Court.
According to her, proper investigation was not being carried out on the unnatural death of her son, who was the Officer-in-Charge of Patharkhmah Police Outpost in District Ri Bhoi.
The officer’s death has raised several questions especially after conflicting reports on the nature, date and time of his death.
While one report declared that Marbaniang had died on January 24, 2015 at 8:50pm, another said he had died on the morning of January 25, 2015. His funeral was held on January 26, 2015.
A report from the Patharkhmah community health centre had stated that the entry bullet wound was at the back of the head while the exit wound was on the front.
The alleged suicide by Marbaniang occurred hours he had detained around 32 coal-laden trucks within the outpost’s jurisdiction.
The family members had lodged a complaint with the Nongpoh police station into the death of Marbaniang under suspicious circumstances.
By special arrangement with Highland Post
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