Jessica case: HC raps cops on Bina Ramani
Ramani has been accused again after lodging of a fresh FIR to probe evidence destruction, reports Harish V Nair.Updated: Oct 11, 2006 23:05 IST
After being praised by the Delhi High Court for showing "guts" to chase Jessica Lall's killer and hailed as the prosecution's "best bet", key witness Bina Ramani on Wednesday found herself in a tight spot when the court briefly delved into destruction of evidence in the case.
The Bench hearing the appeal filed against the acquittal of the accused asked the police why Bina, the owner of the Tamarind Court and the host of the party on the fateful day, was not made an accused earlier for wiping out the blood stains from the floor soon after Jessica was murdered.
Bina has, however, been made an accused in this regard after the lodging of the fresh FIR to probe destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.
The Division Bench comprising Justices RS Sodhi and PK Bhasin drew a parallel between the conduct of Bina and accused Vikas Yadav immediately after the murder.
The judges asked that "if Vikas can be charged with destruction of evidence for driving away Manu Sharma's Tata Safari from the crime spot, what stopped you from booking Bina Ramani for wiping the blood. Why this dual policy?"
The counsel representing the police, Mukta Gupta, replied that she was not booked as there was "no clinching evidence" against her at that point of time. She said even a waiter, Madan Kumar, who had cleaned the floor, had told the police during his questioning that he "did not exactly remember who had asked him to wipe the blood".
Not convinced with the argument, Justice Bhasin pointed out that the waiter had clearly stated in the court that he had cleaned the floor as per the instruction of Bina Ramani. The judge asked why the police did not file a supplementary chargesheet making Ramani an accused even after the waiter's deposition implicating her.
The Bench also pulled up the police for not booking all those who had bought liquor coupons in the party under the Excise Act as the restaurant did not have a license for the sale of alcohol.
"You booked Bina, Malini and George Mailhot under the Excise Act for running an unlicensed bar. Don't you know that consuming liquor at an illegal bar is also an offence?" Justice Bhasin asked the police.
First Published: Oct 11, 2006 20:08 IST