HC orders CBI to probe foreign tourist’s death

The Bombay High Court in Goa on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over from the Goa police the probe into the death of 22-year-old Finnish tourist, Felix Dahl. It also asked the State government to tackle the serious issue of foreigners’ deaths in the coastal tourist State.

The court said the police probe into the death of Dahl was “not indicative of being fair and impartial.”

“We are not commenting on every case, but such occurrences themselves and the resultant situations are not conducive for the perception about the existence of the rule of law,” Justices Prithviraj K. Chavan and N.M. Jamdar said in their order.

The judges further said, “We are of the opinion that the State of Goa should take a review of this situation on a priority basis. The State could consider setting up a Special Cell headed by a senior officer to deal with such investigations. The State may consider not to let such investigations remain in the hands of the local police alone. We trust that the State will take appropriate positive steps in this regard.”

According to Goa government’s statistics, 245 foreigners have died in Goa over the last 21 years.

The High Court order comes in the wake of a petition by the Finland-based mother of the deceased, Minna Pirhonen, who had petitioned the court for a CBI probe into her son’s death.

Felix died at a beach in Canacona taluk of South Goa in 2015. Police had termed it as an unnatural death, while his mother believes that he was murdered. She has been running from pillar to post seeking justice.

Stating that a Constitutional Court cannot “remain a mute spectator when an apparent faulty and prejudiced investigation is meandering towards a predetermined end,” the High Court said that it was, therefore, necessary to transfer the investigation to an outside and competent investigative agency.

“Considering the case from all angles, we are satisfied that it is necessary to transfer the investigation to the CBI,” the order said.

According to Goa government’s statistics, 245 foreigners have died in Goa over the last 21 years

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