Hyderabad: In a sensational decision, a Division Bench of the Hyderabad High Court comprising Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy and Justice M.S.K. Jaiswal on Friday acquitted Pidathala Satyam Babu for the rape and murder of B. Pharmacy student Ayesha Meera 11 years ago, and ordered police to pay Rs 1 lakh in costs to the defendant for lapses in the probe and arresting an innocent man. It claimed that the prosecution failed to produce evidence to prove that the appellant raped the victim and then killed her. The bench observed that the story of rape was created by the police as they have pressure from organisations and associations to nab the culprit. The bench also felt that the police brought in the theory of rape to protect the real culprits. Ayesha’s parents also alleged that police were making Sathyam Babu a scapegoat to close the case guarding the true culprits. Reprimanding the police officers the bench directed initiation of proceedings against these officers. It also criticised the trial court for believing in the police without looking into the lapses in the investigation.
17-year-old, Ayesha Meera was raped and murdered, on December 27, 2007. Her body was found in a pool of blood. As there was no progress in the case, massive agitations were taken up demanding the arrest of the culprits. Subsequently, as many as four people were taken into custody and questioned for several days. Sathyam Babu was nabbed by the police in August 2008. After trial, the Women Special Sessions Court sentenced life imprisonment and 10 years rigorous imprisonment to Sathyam Babu. Challenging the court verdict, Sathyam Babu filed a petition in High Court. After eight years, the High Court acquitted Sathyam Babu. It must also be noted that Mr. Babu, is physically handicapped.
Deccan Chronicle in its report stated, the bench pointed to anomalies like the police claim that the appellant scaled an eight-foot wall twice with a pedestal in one hand to kill the victim who was sleeping on the second floor of the hostel. “It is unbelievable,” the bench observed, that a man weighing 50 kg and physically challenged, can scale an eight-foot wall with a single hand. The bench said it cannot accept the theory that the appellant entered the room without disturbing the victim’s roommates, committed rape and murder, dragged the body to the toilet and wrote on her body.
Meanwhile people’s organisations, Muslim welfare associations and Sathyam Babu’s family members demanded reinvestigation into the murder to catch the real culprits.