The High Court’s verdict in the Jessica Lall murder case will most likely open another can of worms — the role of police officers and other persons in botching up the investigations in the case.
The special investigation team (SIT), which was formed to investigate the case afresh after additional sessions judge SL Bhayana aqcuitted all the accused on February 21 this year, has submitted its reports to the court in sealed covers.
These reports will come up for discussion in the high court only after the verdict.
“Everything will depend on tomorrow's verdict. We will act as per the court’s decision,” said UK Katna, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), who is in-charge of the SIT.
After Manu Sharma, the main accused, and his friends were acquitted, the Delhi Police had registered a case of tampering with evidence at the Mehrauli Police Station in south Delhi on March 6.
A team under ACP M.K. Sharma was formed to investigate the case. Sharma’s retirement was just six months away then but he got an extension for another six months, till February 2007, to finish the investigations in the case.
All the police officers who were involved in the investigation of the case were interrogated by the SIT. Among them are the sub-inspector of Mehrauli police station Sunil Kumar, then SHO of Mehrauli, Surender Sharma, former additional DCP Vivek Gogia, former DCP Sudhir Yadav and then Joint CP Amod Kanth. The SIT also interrogated key witness Shayan Munshi and Bina Ramani.
The SIT registered the case against unknown people, but Bina Ramani was the first one to be named for destruction of evidence. The police claim that it was on her orders that employees of Tamarind Court cleared the blood stains and other physical evidence from the spot. However, her name does not figure formally in the FIR.
The SIT has already submitted two reports to the High Court, including its final report. Both of the reports were submitted in sealed covers. The report will resolve many mysteries surrounding the case.
A few mysteries that the SIT may have unravelled in the report are regarding Manu Sharma’s licensed pistol and “switching” of cartridges sent for forensic tests. The SIT also interrogated the CFSL in-charge Roop Singh who drafted the questionnaire which asked if two guns had been used.
Following their investigations, the SIT had also submitted a list of 13 new witnesses to the court in the Jessica Lall case. The court however directed the police to keep the two cases separate.
It is this report that the high court will take up for discussion after giving its verdict.
Email Sobhana K: sobhana .firstname.lastname@example.org