The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit in a sealed cover, a report on its ongoing investigation into the 2017 Walayar rape case involving the rape and possible murder of two minor Dalit sisters in Palakkad district. [xxx v The Central Bureau of Investigation]..Single-judge Justice K Babu passed the direction while considering a plea moved by the mother of the minor victims seeking monitoring of the probe..It was alleged by the mother that the CBI has been ignoring material evidence in the case that points towards it being homicide and not suicide.The plea moved by her through advocate PV Jeevesh highlighted that the trial court had also observed that there was callous indifference and negligence on the part of the CBI in conducting the investigation.Further, it was claimed that the CBI is trying to submit the final report in haste, without properly and efficiently conducting the investigation.“The deceased girls belong to the scheduled cast and scheduled tribe community, a marginalized section of society. They are helpless to find out the truth behind the incident. Therefore, the interference of this Hon’ble Court is the sine qua non for doing complete justice”, the plea said.Therefore, the petition urged the Court to monitor the CBI investigation and to direct the probe agency to look into homicidal angles in the death of the victims, the suspicious death of two persons accused in the case, and the involvement of child pornography mafia in the deaths of victims..Walayar Rape CaseIn January 2017, the older of the two sisters involved in the unfortunate tragedy, aged 13, was found hanging inside her home at Walayar by her younger sister, aged 9.The 9-year-old informed the police that she had seen two men leave the house that day and her parents claimed that their daughter had been murdered. However, the police registered a case of unnatural death.Shockingly, 52 days later, in March 2017, the younger 9-year-old sister was also found hanging in the same house.Protests and public pressure led to the arrest of five accused in the case - Madhu alias Valiya Madhu, Madhu M alias Kutti MadhuShibu, Pradeep Kumar M, and a minor who was 16 years old at the time of allegedly committing the offense.The fourth accused, Pradeep Kumar, allegedly died by suicide in November 2020.Post-mortem reports of the girls disclosed that they were subjected to rape before their deaths. This led to the police surmising that they had died by suicide due to the trauma from multiple instances of sexual assault committed on them by the accused.However, this theory was vehemently opposed by the family of the victim girls.In October 2019, a court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act acquitted V Madhu, M Madhu, and Shibu for lack of evidence on October 25. The court had acquitted Pradeep Kumar earlier for the same reason.This led to much public outcry, protests, and several allegations, especially from opposition parties, against the CPI(M) led LDF government which was accused of shielding the accused.Thereafter, the State government appealed against the POCSO court’s verdict and sought a direction from the High Court to call for the records of the case, set aside the lower court judgment, and convict the accused for the offenses or to order a reinvestigation into the crime.The girl’s mother, with the support of an organization of Dalit and human rights activists, also approached the government seeking a reinvestigation. She urged the High Court to direct an inquiry by the CBI as well.In January 2021, a division bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Justices A Hariprasad (now retired) and MR Anitha quashed the acquittal of all the accused men and directed a re-trial of all the cases.Later, upon consideration of the State government's recommendation for a probe by the CBI, the Court ordered the central agency to take up the investigation.By this time, the protests against the inaction had reached a fever pitch with multiple dharnas, satyagrahas, and hunger strikes conducted by the family and social welfare organizations.On January 2022, the court dismissed the bail applications moved by the prime accused in the case and said that he could move the trial court for bail based on the final report submitted by the CBI.