Court orders probe into destruction of records in student’s murder case

Hyderabad: Hyderabad High Court on Friday ordered probe into destruction of records in 11-year-old sensational case of a Andhra pharmacy student’s rape and murder.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the case, informed the High Court that the records were destroyed in the trial court. Taking a serious note of this, the court asked Registrar General to conduct a probe into the destruction of records and submit a report within four weeks.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice AS.V.A Bhatt passed the orders on a petition by parents of Ayesha Meera, a 19-year-old pharmacy student who was raped and murdered brutally in a hostel at Vijayawada in 2007.

They had stated that that the material objects (evidence) which were in the trial court in Vijayawada were destroyed when the appeal against the verdict of the trial court was being heard in the High Court. They also sought handing over of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Observing that CBI probe may be better than the probe by state police, the court made the central agency a respondent in the case.

In response to the earlier orders by the High Court, the SIT on Friday submitted a report, revealing that the records were destroyed in the trial court in Vijayawada.

Ayesha was raped and murdered on December 27, 2007. Her body was found outside the toilet on the second floor of the Sri Durga Ladies Hostel in Ibrahimpatnam, where she was staying.

In 2008, police claimed that one Satyam Babu, arrested in a cell phone robbery case, confessed to Ayesha’s murder.

Ayesha’s parents had alleged that police pinned the crime on Satyam Babu to misdirect the investigation as a relative of former Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Koneru Ranga Rao was involved in the crime.

The Mahila Court in Vijayawada, on September 10, 2010, convicted and sentenced Satyam Babu to life imprisonment.

Last year the Hyderabad High Court acquitted Satyam Babu. It also ordered action against the police officials who investigated the case.

Subsequently the state government constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct a fresh probe.

The High Court in January this year agreed to supervise the investigations by SIT.