The Raj Agrawal murder case saw a twist, with the Bombay High Court questioning the sanctity of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) test report as conclusive evidence.
The HC on Tuesday asked Additional Public Prosecutor Poornima Kantharia to get Supreme Court judgments dealing with DNA reports as evidence. “We want to know the sanctity of DNA tests,” said Justice Ranjana Desai.
The court is hearing a bail application filed by convict Nadim Shaikh. Four other convicts are on bail.
Fourteen-year-old Raj was kidnapped and killed for ransom in 2004. The police had recovered Raj’s skeleton. Of the two DNA tests, one was inconclusive while the second said the bones could match DNA from the boy’s maternal side.
The HC has questioned whether the state has a facility to confirm the DNA test report.
However, Raj’s parents have maintained that the skeleton is not their son’s. “If it is not his (Raj’s) skeleton, then he (Shaikh) can not be convicted. Just because a skeleton was found, he (Shaikh) cannot be kept inside,” said Justice Desai. “If that was not the boy then whose skeleton was it?”
On June 5, the sessions court sentenced seven men to life.
In December, HC released Syed Aslam Jafar, Syed Akhtar Jafar, Sunil alias Karan Walmiki and Govind Shinde, on bail while suspending their sentence. Accused Surendra Kadam also got bail in January.
When the accused raised the question that Raj’s father Kunjbihari Agrawal had refused to accept that the remains were of his son, HC had called for the Agrawal’s writ petition. The HC has also called for Walmiki’s petition after he alleged that he was forced to confess.