Contending that the trial judge overlooked two crucial and irrefutable pieces of evidence, the CBI on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that even otherwise various other evidence produced by the prosecution firmly established accused Santosh Singh's involvement in the rape and murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General A Sara stated that trial judge GP Thareja, while ignoring the two vital evidences, completely agreed with the other circumstantial and material records produced by the agency pointing to the involvement of Santosh Singh in the heinous offence.
The two crucial and irrefutable evidences related to the DNA findings and seizure of broken helmet visor peices from the scene of offence, which the trial judge ignored on mere technical grounds, to acquit Singh son of JP Singh, a top IPS officer, the CBI told the High Court during the hearing of the appeal.
According to the CBI, DNA test conducted at the Hyderabad-based CDFD (Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics) had stated that semen samples collected from the undergarments of the deceased matched with those of the accused.
Similarly, the blood stains collected from the broken pieces of helmet visor purportedly belonging to Santosh Singh matched with the blood samples of Priyadarshini.
The CBI complained that the trial judge chose to ignore the DNA findings on the specious plea that eight milli litre (ml) of blood samples out of the total 12 milli litre collected from the accused were found missing from the exhibits produced by the prosecuting agency.
The ASG maintained that the trial court's findings on the said ground were erroneous as a portion of the blood samples apparently got evaporated while being taken by air from Delhi to Hyderabad.
However, ASG said the trial court did not dispute the other findings of the CBI which proved "beyond reasonable doubt" the alleged involvement of Singh in the rape-cum-murder.
Elaborating further, he said the prosecution had produced several complaints and FIRs lodged by Priyadarshini between March, 1994 and January, 1996 at Maurice Nagar Police Station complaining of harassment, intimidation and outraging of modesty by Santosh Singh.
The CBI had furnished during the trial copies of the written apologies and undertakings given by the accused to the police promising that he would desist from stalking or harassing Priyadarshini during the said period.
Besides, eyewitnesses were produced before the trial court who testified having seen the accused with the helmet just half an hour before the rape-cum murder, which clearly constituted a chain of events that was required for establishing the guilt of the accused, the CBI said.
But all these evidences were ignored by the trial judge, Saran complained.
"You mean to say barring two grounds, the entire evidence and the findings of the learned trial judge is in your favour?" the Bench queried to which the ASG replied in the affirmative.
The Bench also admonished a junior counsel appearing for the accused when he tried to frequently interrupt the ASG.
"You will get your chance to speak. Don't disturb him. It is easy to pick faults when others are arguing," Justice Sodhi told the counsel.
The defence counsel then apologised to the court for his behaviour.