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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

FSL official promoted, though HC sought action against him

Bhartesh Singh Thakur , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 10, 2014
First Published: 12:49 IST(10/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:30 IST(10/5/2014)

Even as the Punjab and Haryana high court has sought action against the “untruthful” and “dishonest” report from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in a murder case, nothing has been done against the erring official even after four years rather he has been awarded promotion.

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THE CASE

Anita of Narnaul was convicted of the murder of her husband Mahesh Singh and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006.

She had served to her husband tea laced with organophosphorous on September 23, 2004. Another person Bhagirath, alias, Pappu, also had the same tea along with Mahesh, but survived.

As per prosecution, Anita was having an extramarital affair, which is buttressed by the love letters recovered.

After her conviction, she filed an appeal before the high court on the basis of FSL report that viscera report of Mahesh revealed the consumption of po ison A lum inum Phosphide whereas the same report revealed organophosphorous in other samples like teapot and teacups. It was contended that the two compounds (poisons) — aluminium phosphide and organophosphorus — have different chemical compositions, therefore, the prosecution failed to complete the link circumstances so as to hold Anita guilty of the offence.

The judgment delivered by justices Hemant Gupta and Jaswant Singh on March 22, 2010, ruled: “The FSL has given report when the lear ned trial court issued as how cause notice to t he FSL director Madhuban for not giving the report.

The said report finding aluminium phosphide in viscera is patently incorrect.

The symptoms of poisoning of aluminium phosphide could not be found either in the post-mortem examination of the victim or in the medico-legal report of Bhagirath, alias, Pappu.”

The court ruled: “All the published works are to the effect that aluminium phosphide i.e. celphos tablet is not homicidal, as it cannot be taken accidentally as it emanates highly pungent smell.”

“It cannot be mixed with tea for the reason of its pungent smell, as the phosphine gas is released immediately on its contact with moisture. Its contact with moisture or liquid will emanate pungent smell, which creates suspicion immediately to the person to be administered with poison,” it added.

Dismissing the FSL report, t he c our t s ai d: “The re por t itself is untruthful and seems to have been given in a casual manner. The higher of ficers of the FSL will be well advised to examine the process of submission of the report and to find out the culpability of the of ficer’s negligent, careless and other circumstances, which might have prompted the examiner to give such dishonest report.”

Hence, Anita’s appeal was dismissed. The Supreme Court also upheld the high court’s order in 2011.

AWARDED WITH PROMOTION

This FSL report was given by the then assistant director, Dr Jagdish Ram. He was promoted to the rank of deputy director by an order dated May 10, 2011, i.e after the high court’s order.

On February 18 this year, the registrar general of the high court reminded FSL, Madhuban, of sending the compliance report of its 2010 order.

After that a petition was also filed in the cour t for taking action against Jagdish Ram by senior scientific officer of FSL Surender.

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