The Bombay High Court on Tuesday sought an explanation from the doctor who conducted a DNA test on the skeleton recovered in the 2004 Raj Agarwal kidnap-and-murder case.
The division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar asked additional public prosecutor Usha Kejariwal to get Dr D Negi, DNA expert at the Hyderabad Forensics Science Laboratory, to explain the statements he had made before the trial court.
Raj, 14, was kidnapped while he was on way to school in Wadala in November 2003. Police found a body at Daund near Pune, but Raj’s father Kunjbihari, a businessman, claimed the skeleton was not that of his son. Seven persons were convicted in June 2009.
Dr Negi had said the Y-STR (Short Tandem Repeats found on the male-specific Y Chromosome) matched the lineage of Agarwal but added that Raj was not Kunjbihari’s biological child.
“Where does this take us? We will have to study the report,” Justice Desai said while hearing the bail plea of Nadim Shaikh, one of the seven persons sentenced to life. On August 14 last year, the HC had admitted their appeal challenging the sentence.
Shaikh, who had told the police he and his aides had buried the boy and on the basis of whose statements the skeleton was recovered, has sought bail on grounds of parity as five other convicts have been released on bail. “It is a complicated case. We must satisfy our consciousness [before granting bail],” Justice Desai said.
Earlier, the HC had called for Supreme Court judgments dealing with DNA reports as admissible evidence.
Hasan Ali Mooman, Shaikh’s advocate, argued that the parents had denied the skeleton was that of their child.
Kejariwal opposed the bail, saying a school teacher had identified the clothes on the skeleton.