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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Murder case: Panchkula police fail to prove charges

Bhartesh Singh Thakur , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 15, 2014
First Published: 09:54 IST(15/4/2014) | Last Updated: 09:55 IST(15/4/2014)

The police have again come under attack over its sloppy crime investigations.

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Acquitting the three men accused in a murder case, a local court pointed out inconsistencies in the timeline of events and questioned how the forensic team could arrive at the scene of the crime hours before the matter was even reported to the police.

According to the police, Pradeep Sharma along with his brother Sandeep Sharma and an accomplice, Kamal Sharma, had killed the former’s wife, Sapna, 28, on June 6, 2013 at the couple’s home in the Raipur Rani police station area.

The suspects had allegedly strangled the woman and then hung her from a ceiling in a bathroom to make her death look like a suicide.

Acquitting the accused, additional district & sessions judge Roopam Singh raised a number of questions with regard to the police’s investigations in the case.

Narinder Singh, the then Raipur Rani police station SHO at the time, had submitted to the court the crime was reported at 8:15 pm on June 6, 2013, after which an FIR was filed.

He stated fifteen minutes later he went to the crime scene where he found the woman’s body, after which he called up his team members to come there. He added the body was sent for a postmortem to General Hospital in Sector 6.

However, the judge said Singh’s statement contradicted that of the head of the forensic team, Riti Saini, who told the court she arrived at the crime scene at 5pm.

“It remains a mystery as to how a scene of crime team got to the crime scene many hours before the matter was even reported to the police at 8.15pm,” the court said, adding the inconsistency could have been explained if the prosecution had come up with evidence on when the body was taken to the hospital.

Also, while the police told the court that Pradeep had confessed to the crime on June 11, the recovery of cot and table used in the crime were shown to be recovered on June 10.

“Once again, it remained unexplained that how recovery was effected on 10.06.2013 despite the fact disclosure statement was suffered by accused Pradeep on 11.06.2013,” says the judgment.

She also noted photographs of the body clicked by the team at the crime scene were never placed on file. Police had alleged Sapna was killed after she refused Sandeep’s “immoral demands”, but this was also never corroborated by any evidence, the court said.

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