PANAJI - The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court Wednesday struck down the dismissal of the investigating police officer who was accused of sabotaging probe into the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling in February last year.
The controversial police sub-inspector Nerlon Albuquerque, who was the headed the Anjuna police station when the incident occurred, would, however, continue to be suspended from service, pending a departmental enquiry into his conduct in the sensational murder of Scarlett.
Revoking his dismissal, the high court laid down a time-frame for completing a departmental enquiry against the officer. ‘If the department wants to conduct an enquiry against Albuquerque, it should be completed by August 31, 2009,’ the court said.
Albuquerque was dismissed from service by the Goa Police Establishment Board March 14 last year, for allegedly sabotaging investigations into Scarlett’s murder, a month earlier.
The officer had then challenged the police board decision, stating his dismissal was a result of political, media pressure and against the principles of natural justice.
Albuquerque came under immense media criticism for laxity in investigating Scarlett’s death. Albuquerque in his report to his seniors had stated that Scarlett died due to accidental drowning and not in a homicide.
The 15-year-old Scarlett was found dead at Anjuna beach Feb 18 last year.