CBI pulled up for ‘shoddy probe’ in idol theft case

Pulling up the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for botching up the probe into the theft of an idol of goddess Durga and other antiquities, a special court has acquitted two persons accused under the Art & Antiquities Treasures Act, 1972, citing missing links in the circumstantial evidence and non-examination of the probe officer of the case.

The accused had stolen the idol in Allahabad and brought it to Delhi for smuggling it to New York in 1981.

Broken idol

However, the Customs officers seized the idol, broken into four pieces, and 14 other antiquities. The accused had got the idol broken into four pieces by an artisan.

“This case is the best example where shabby investigation has been done. There appears to be no supervisory role of any senior officer. Though the investigating officer remains in the centre of the sphere in the entire probe, it appears that senior officers failed to supervise the investigation,” Special Judge S. K. Aggarwal said.

“Despite the CBI being aware that the investigating officer has expired, no attempts were made to replace him in the list of witnesses during trial. Though the CBI claims to be the prime investigating agency in India dealing in high profile cases and it has been observed that whenever some hue and cry is raised regarding investigation by some local police, the people always raise a demand that the investigation be shifted from the local police to the CBI,” the judge noted.

‘Long slumber’

“But if investigations are conducted in such a manner by the CBI as highlighted in this judgment, time is not far away when people will lose faith in the system and the government will be forced to constitute another agency. All senior officers of the CBI kept sitting with their eyes closed during investigation in this case which is very unfortunate,” the judge stated.

“The CBI should sensitise its officers to be more responsive and effective towards investigation and they are required to awake from long slumber,” the judge added.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 5:03:10 AM |

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