New Delhi: The central investigative agency CBI will probe into allegations of rampant wife-swapping among naval officers and transfer of a case pertaining to the row from Kochi to New Delhi.
Last week a bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur reserved its order after briefly hearing the arguments of counsel Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the estranged wife of naval officer Lt Ravi Kiran, that the CBI should take up the probe.
The wife had filed the petition in 2013. Jaiswal said a probe by the central agency was necessary as police in Kerala, where Kiran was based, and the naval authorities were harassing the officer's wife instead of acting on her complaint. The apex court agreed to it today.
However, the Kerala government's counsel, Ramesh Babu, opposed the demand for a CBI investigation. He said the state police had carried out a fair and thorough inquiry into the allegations but did not find any evidence to support the claims.
The woman's allegations of wife-swapping had created a stir in the navy and the general public when she first made them in April 2013, prompting then defence minister A.K. Antony to promise a probe.
Besides claiming that wife-swapping was common in the navy, the 26-year-old woman had alleged she was gang-raped by a group of officers in February 2013 at the behest of her husband, after she had found him in a compromising position with the wife of a commandant.
The woman had earlier said in her petition before the apex court that despite complaints lodged with Kochi's Harbour police station and the then chief of naval staff, no action was taken against the accused.
The plea had been listed a couple of times in the top court but could not be taken up for hearing because of various reasons.
The woman claimed that the government was making all efforts to hush up the matter and pass it off as a domestic and matrimonial dispute since her case had taken on a scandalous turn and posed a potential threat to the reputation and integrity of the navy and the naval officers.