The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday maintained it "knew for eight months" that the vaginal swabs of murdered teenager victim Aarushi Talwar may have been substituted, and that it was probing the tampering of evidences in the sensational Noida double murder.
"Our investigators have been following this angle for the last eight months and will soon file a status report in the Supreme Court," CBI spokesman Harsh Bhal told IANS, when asked about the media reports that the DNA sample of the teenage victim had been changed with that of an unidentified woman.
Aarushi, 14, a student of Delhi Public School, Noida, was murdered in her Jalvayu Vihar apartment in Noida May 16, 2008. The family's domestic help Hemraj was found murdered a day later on the terrace of the house.
"There is nothing new in it (the allegations of tampering) as far as investigations are considered," he said.
But Bhal refused to divulge any more details saying the murder was being investigated and was sub judice. "Nothing can be shared with the media right now".
Seventeen months since, the double murder still remains one of the country's biggest 'whodunit' cases.
After meandering through unexpected twists and turns, the probe into the double murder had almost reached a dead-end.
All those who were picked up for interrogation in the initial weeks of the murder - Aarushi's father dentist Rajesh Talwar, his medical assistant Krishna and two other domestic helps, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal - are all out while the CBI still continues to hunt for material evidence.
But the latest revelation that vaginal swabs drawn from Aarushi were substituted has reinvigorated public and media interest in the case.
There have been allegations that a pathologist, Richa Saxena, who works for a government hospital in Noida, had tampered with the DNA samples.
But Saxena, who collected the swab samples taken by Sunil Dohre during postmortem, insisted that there was no mix-up.
"It is a sheer mischief to rake up another controversy," Saxena told IANS.
Saxena also insisted that she was being "dragged into a bigger conspiracy".
"I am not absconding but have been very disturbed with false allegations against me. This is a conspiracy to shield the real culprits in the case and I am being dragged in to this large conspiracy," said Saxena.