Court slams CBI for ‘shielding’ Pandher | india | Hindustan Times
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Court slams CBI for ‘shielding’ Pandher

The court said it was ‘suspicious’ that the CBI did not submit to it the fact about the recovery of an aaree (saw-like tool) at the instance of Pandher. Abhishek Sharan reports.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2009 23:57 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times

Mincing no words, the 59-page order of the designated court that on Friday pronounced the quantum of convictions in the Rimpa Halder attempted rape and murder case, ripped apart the probe agency the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for not submitting evidence against Moninder Singh Pandher.

The court said it was ‘suspicious’ that the CBI did not submit to it the fact about the recovery of an aaree (saw-like tool) at the instance of Pandher.

The order, written in chaste Hindi, recounted, “Since the CBI had not chargesheeted Pandher, its (CBI) prosecutors — SP Ahluwalia, Puneet Ahluwalia, JP Sharma and SC Behl — had submitted no facts or arguments against Pandher.”

Yet, it added, “since there were evidence found prima facie against Pandher, he was summoned by the court and charges were framed against him under sections 364, 376 and 302 read with section 120 (b) and section 201.”

The order pointed out “on January 1, 2007, the aaree was recovered at the instance of both Pandher and Koli. Both the accused had then said the aaree used in the murders was hidden in D-5 bungalow and that they will help the police in recovering it”.

Recounting the prosecution witnesses' accounts, the order added: "Inside the bungalow, Surendra and Moninder walked ahead and brought out an aaree from a window-sill from behind a curtain."

The order referred to submissions made by Halder's counsel in which the latter stated that the “prosecution team had colluded with Pandher”.

To buttress his point, Khan argued, “the CBI didn’t inform the court of the aaree’s recovery, nor had sent it for examination to a medical committee to determine the type of the murder’s weapon, told the court that the aaree was not used in the crime, did not chargesheet Pandher, nor presented facts/arguments against him when he was chargesheeted later.” Referring to the counsel’s points, the court observed it “agrees to them to an extent”.

Further, the court discarded the CBI's contention - backed with corroborative evidence like passport details — proving Pandher’s stay in Australia between January 30 and February 15 in 2005 to prove his innocence.

The court said his absence needed to be corroborated by independent witnesses.

Further, “It was unlikely that Pandher would not have been alerted by the slaughterhouse-like stench up to a kilometer that was at the bungalow or by rotting corpses in the drain or the bathroom,” it said.