Police plan to come clean in court
Delhi Police are likely to turn spotlight on themselves when they submit a status report, reports JT Vishnu.india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 16:49 IST
For a change, the Delhi Police are expected to turn the spotlight on themselves when they submit a status report on the Jessica Lall murder case to the high court in April. The report is likely to point out some serious lapses made by the investigating team.
On February 21, a local court had acquitted all the nine accused in the case.
Admitting that the officers in charge of the case “botched” the investigation to suit the accused, the police say they will raise some serious questions.
A senior officer said among the lapses the Delhi Police would admit to before the court would be:
* The non-recovery of the weapon of offence.
* The failure to register a case for destruction of evidence against Bina Ramani and her staff for cleaning up bloodstains from the crime spot. Only a case under the Excise Act was registered against Bina Ramani and her daughter Malini.
* Not recording the statements of key eyewitnesses before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPc. "If the investigating team had followed this procedure, eyewitnesses like Shayan Munshi, Karan Rajput and Shiv Das could not have retracted from their earlier statements -- as it attracts punishment," said the officer. The hostile witnesses weakened the case.
* The police's failure to collect the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report even after several reminders. “On July 19, the cartridges were sent to the CFSL, Jaipur, for ballistic examination,” said the police officer. “Though the report was ready by August 18, the police collected it in November 1999.”
* Floating the one-weapon theory and claiming that the bullets were fired from a single weapon — much before the CFSL report came out. Later, the CFSL report said that the cartridges were fired from two different weapons, making the prosecution case very weak.
* The non-recovery of the clothes of Manu Sharma, the alleged assailant, and Jessica.
* Even though some police officers were present at Tamarind Court on the night of Jessica's murder, no effort was made to submit their logbooks before the court.
And the Delhi Police may not stop at this. The officer said the police's legal cell was looking into all the areas where the investigation was botched.
"The reply will have the complete nature of the case and the role of senior officers and other policemen who supervised and investigated it at that time. "No one will be spared and the guilty will be brought to book," the officer said.