High Court lashes out at Delhi police for Jessica probe

Jessica Lal

Jessica Lal  

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Raising serious questions over the manner in which the Special Investigation Team of the Delhi police probed alleged tampering of evidence in the high-profile Jessica Lal murder case, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the SIT, describing the probe report submitted by it as ``a rotten piece of paper”.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice R. S. Sodhi and Justice H. R. Malhotra criticised the police while hearing about the progress made in the investigation into alleged involvement of certain police officers, the forensic expert and a few witnesses in derailment of the case in the trial court.

The court of an Additional Sessions Judge had in February last year acquitted all nine accused in the case, including prime accused Siddharth Vashishtha alias Manu Sharma, blaming the investigating agency for the fall of the case.

However, the High Court had subsequently set aside the lower court judgment and sentenced Manu Sharma to life imprisonment and two others, including Vikas Yadav, son of former Member of Parliament D. P. Yadav, to three years’ imprisonment each. The convicts have appealed in the Supreme Court against the High Court judgment.

The High Court also questioned the rationale of the Delhi police in registering a fresh First Information Report to probe alleged complicity of the police personnel connected with the investigations leading to the derailment of the case in the trial court.

It said there was no need to lodge a new FIR when an FIR already existed.

``This is perhaps the first case in the criminal justice system where a separate FIR has been filed in a case while an FIR still exists. Does it not lead to a safe inference that you (Delhi Police) are trying to assist the accused?” the Bench observed.

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