The Delhi High Court on Wednesday questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a trial court's observations about its many lapses in probing the murder of law student Priyadarshini Mattoo.
The trial court had ruled that the CBI had failed to maintain proper custody of the clothes and vaginal swabs of the victim and the blood sample of accused Santosh Kumar Singh.
This had created doubts in the mind of the judge, leading to Singh's acquittal.
This move raised a countrywide storm, prompting the CBI to appeal the acquittal, which the High Court is now hearing on a day-to-day basis.
A Bench comprising Judges Vijender Jain and PK Bhasin also queried the investigating agency about the failure of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) at Hyderabad to follow the validated procedure to conduct the DNA test of the accused, who is the son of a retired Indian Police Service Officer.
The trial court had acquitted Singh as the CBI had failed to ensure the safe custody of the exhibits sent for DNA examination to CCMB and as its scientists had not followed the validated procedure/protocol for conducting the test.
The High Court directed the CBI to explain the discrepancy between the autopsy report conducted at Safdarjung Hospital and the CCMB report about the examination of the underwear of the deceased.
The autopsy report had said that there were no stains of semen on the underwear while CCMB said the garment was found to contain white stains.
On this discrepancy, the trial court had held that the clothes and vaginal swabs/slides of the deceased were tampered with when the articles were in the custody of investigating officer AK Ohri.
Although Additional Solicitor General Amarendra Sharan answered the queries, the Bench appeared unsatisfied with his explanation. Sharan will continue his arguments on Thursday.