High Court’s clean chit for Forensic Science Laboratory
‘CD submitted by CBI tampered with’
‘It did not contain vital information’
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed that the investigation into the death of Sister Abhaya be entrusted to the Kerala branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court observed that there was every reason to suspect that an unseen hand was at work to jettison the truth behind the death of Sister Abhaya.
Justice V. Ramkumar ordered the Superintendent of Police in charge of the Kerala branch to entrust the investigation to a team of officers of unquestionable integrity and to “ensure that no stone is left unturned in its mission to unravel the truth behind the murder of Sister Abhaya.”
The court ordered that in case there was any “intra-institutional or external pressure or influence exerted on any member of the investigation team, it shall be lawful for him to move this court thorough the Registrar-General without seeking the formal permission of any of his superiors.”
To monitor probe
The court directed the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate to monitor the investigation and issue appropriate direction in case he had reasons to believe that this investigation was not proceeding on proper lines. In the event of the Chief Judicial Magistrate entertaining some doubts about the modalities or the propriety of this investigation, he shall submit an evaluation report to the court thorough proper channel and the court would consider whether the investigation should be taken away from the CBI and entrusted to a team of good officers in the State police.
The judge directed the State government to extend necessary infrastructure to the CBI in its endeavour to track down the “slayers” of the nun.
The court, appreciating B.M. Mohan and S. Malini, Director and Assistant Director respectively of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore, observed that the laboratory had not indulged in either editing or manipulation of the CDs on the narco-analysis procedure of three suspects so as to make them “incongruous, illogical or incompatible with the narco-reports submitted by them.”
CBI counsel had alleged that the Director and the Assistant Director had manipulated the CDs. The CBI had reiterated that it had received only one CD while the Director asserted that three CDs were handed over to the CBI.
The court noted that investigation officer R.K. Agarwal had submitted that the CD given by the FSL contained all information recorded in the narco-analysis reports. But he was wrong because the narco reports contained more details than the CD submitted by the CBI.
The inference could only be that the CD submitted by the CBI had been “consciously tampered with and the CD did not contain the most vital information recorded in the narco reports,” the judge said.
The court observed that Dr. Malini had mentioned towards the end of each of the three narco-analysis reports that a CD was enclosed. If along with the three narco reports one CD alone was enclosed each narco report would not have made mention of a CD as an enclosure.
The court deprecated Mr. Agarwal for the “mendacity and impudence” with which he replied to questions by the court. The court said he should face suitable action.
The court issued the directives while disposing of a petition filed by M. Thomas, father of the nun, seeking a direction to the CBI to file a report regarding the progress of the probe.