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MHA asks for Jessica report

The public outrage over the acquittal of the nine accused in the Jessica Lall murder case has been noticed at the Centre.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 22:00 IST

The public outrage over the acquittal of the nine accused in the Jessica Lall murder case has been noticed at the Centre. The Home Ministry has directed the Delhi Police to furnish a detailed report on the investigations, particularly highlighting the "loopholes" that might have led to the acquittals.

The Delhi Police, which reports directly to the Home Ministry, have also been directed to fix accountability and identify the officers responsible for the tardy investigations.

Well-placed sources claimed the feedback received by the Home Ministry was that the "Delhi Police went completely wrong on the investigations".

Senior ministry officials said it was "intriguing" that the police relied heavily on the witnesses' statements. The police have been asked to explain why the investigations focused only on "oral evidence, instead of scientific, circumstantial and forensic evidence".

"It's highly suspicious that in a murder case involving high-profile accused, the police virtually built the entire case around the witnesses -- knowing fully well that they'll turn hostile during the trial," said a senior ministry official. "This aspect needs more explanation."

In wake of the Jessica Lall judgment, the Home Ministry is keen to put in place a mechanism where both the investigating officer and the supervising officer will be held responsible if an accused in a heinous case is acquitted.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 22:00 IST