The Scarlett Keeling murder case has taken another twist as CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has filed an appeal before the High Court against the judgment of the Children’s Court which was pronounced in September 2016. According to the sources, an appeal has been lodged in the case of Devon teenager Scarlett Keeling who was killed in the Goa in the year 2008. Her body was found on the north Goa beach in half-naked condition.
The family lawyer of the victim, Advocate Vikram Verma has confirmed the news of filing of the appeal by CBI in the Bombay High Court. The Scarlett’s family is opposing the judgment passed by the Children’s Court Judge Vandana Tendulkar. According to the mother of Victim, this case has been pulling up for nearly a decade and she is not sure as how many more years this trend will go on. “It feels as if things are proactive. But it’s nearly nine years ago, I don’t know how much longer this is going to go on for”, said Fiona MacKeown, the mother of victim Scarlett Keeling.
The victim Scarlett was only 15 when she was raped and murdered while on the trip of a lifetime in Goa, said the sources. The prime suspects and main accused of the Scarlett murder case, Placido Carvalho, 49, and Samson D’Souza, 37 were acquitted by the Children’s court in September 2016. The victim’s lawyer, Vikram Varma, who represents the teenager’s family, said the India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had appealed the decision. He said a hearing was scheduled for Monday and once all the requirements had been met, a notice would be sent to the accused to secure their presence at Bombay High Court. “I am hopeful for a conviction, but it would be a long walk,” Mr. Varma said.
The accused have denied the charges of culpable homicide, grievous sexual assault and destroying of an evidence, assault with criminal force with intent to outrage a woman’s modesty and administering drugs with intent to harm, said the sources. They were acquitted by judge Vandana Tendulkar at Goa Children’s Court in September. Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown said the legal process was like “a game of cat and mouse”. She said news of the appeal was “great” but that she still wanted a fresh investigation.
According to the sources, the bruised body of Scarlett was found on the Anjuna beach in North Goa. The body was found by the police in the partially clothed condition in February 2008. The Goa Police initially concluded the teenager died accidentally but, after a campaign by her family, a second post-mortem examination in March 2008 revealed she had been drugged and raped before drowning in seawater. Delays in court saw a trial start in March 2010, but a verdict was not reached until 2016.