Our investigating bodies just don’t seem to be able to get it right, going by some of the high-profile cases in recent times. The latest is the Budaun case, where the first conclusion is that the two girl victims were gangraped and hanged. It was suspected to be an honour killing. Now, the Central Bureau of Investigation, five months down the line, concludes that the two teenagers committed suicide. The five men, allegedly involved in the deaths, and whom the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested, can now walk free under the law. But, in the byzantine twists and turns which characterised this case, we are still unsure of what really happened on the fateful day when the two girls were found hanging from a mango tree. The CBI, which took over the investigations in June, said that the elder girl committed suicide as her love affair with a man from a different caste became public. But this does not explain why the younger one took her life. “Based on about 40 forensic reports”, the CBI in a statement issued on Thursday said its investigators said they found no traces of semen on either of the bodies, and no trace of male DNA was found on the girls’ clothes or anywhere on their bodies while the post-mortem report conducted by a local doctor when the matter was still with the Uttar Pradesh police clearly suggested that the girls were raped and strangled. What then do we make of the confessions the three men made on June 1 owning up to their crime? Will this case, like the Aarushi Talwar case, enter the annals of history of how-not-to-investigate case studies, with nobody ever getting to know what actually happened? This not just erodes people’s faith in our investigating agencies but also leads to unnecessary speculation and endless grief for the families involved.
While we have enough laws in place to bring the guilty to book, it is the investigating agencies’ job to present a strong case against the accused. The glaring inconsistencies in the medical reports and poor evidence collection show that without the proper spadework that lays the very foundation of a case, the whole edifice falls apart. In the Aarushi case, the police allowed the media free access, with reporters and others walking all over and compromising the crime scene.
It’s undeniable that by the time a case is escalated to the CBI, it already has had its share of botched-up investigation. We need a drastic overhaul of our investigative techniques and forensics. This situation of cases which never really have proper closure is a blot on our law enforcement record and an insult to the victims concerned.