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Arushi case: Was the CBI provided edited footage of narco test?

Source: PTI
October 25, 2015 20:09 IST
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In a new twist to the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case, it has emerged that the Central Bureau of Investigation does not have the complete raw footage of narco-analysis conducted on Krishna, assistant of Rajesh Talwar, in its records.

A new video purportedly of the test conducted on Krishna has surfaced on social networking site YouTube which is 58.55-minute long. CBI sources claimed the agency, in its records, has only about 45 minutes of video of the test conducted on Krishna at Forensic Science Laboratory, Bengaluru.

A source, who had been privy to the probe, said the new footage on social media appeared to be genuine. The narco tests were conducted on servants, including Krishna, by the first team of the CBI under the then Joint Director Arun Kumar which suspected their involvement but could not produce any legally admissible evidence against them.

The new video which has been posted on the YouTube on October 22 has a length of 58.55 minutes with the person, who posted the video, claiming that another part will be made public soon.

The sources said a Forensic Science Laboratory is supposed to provide whatever information it could gather to the investigation agency.

The agency is clueless who edited the video, whether it was the doctors who did the tests, the person who created the CDs or officers of their own investigation team.

The video which has been posted on the CBI record is much smaller in length than the video on YouTube, said a source requesting anonymity.

Narco analysis is not admissible evidence in court. Dr S Malini, who did the test on Krishna, was removed from FSL Bengaluru, following allegations of irregularities in 2009.

The apparently raw footage of the tests which has emerged now shows Krishna claiming that Arun Kumar had asked him to own the crime on the promise of a reduced sentence.

Kumar had said the "original" footage did not have that portion.

When asked what was the length of the video footage on the narco-test conducted on Krishna, which is part of CBI record, Kumar told PTI he cannot recollect the duration of the video.

"I do not recall. It was sent from the FSL to the CBI, the CD. I do not remember the minutes.... Any authorisation can come either from the organisation or the lab. Custodian of the video is FSL Bangalore. If there is a requirement they can come out with it," Kumar told PTI over phone.

Kumar, now an inspector general of police in the Central Reserve Police Force, said that if CBI has made public all the court orders they should bring the video and narco analysis too in the public domain even if they do not have evidence value.

When asked whether the agency has only "edited" version of the narco analysis test done on Krishna, CBI spokesperson refused to comment saying the matter is sub-judice.

A 1985-batch Indian Police Service officer, Kumar was present in Bengaluru when the narco test was conducted on Krishna. Kumar was only supposed to monitor the probe as

investigation is domain of Investigation Officer who was the then  Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar, the sources said.

Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar have been convicted of murdering their daughter Aarushi, 14, and their domestic servant Hemraj on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008 and have been sentenced to serve life term.

The first team led of CBI led by Kumar had suspected that servants would have committed the crime but the then director CBI Ashwani Kumar did not agree with the findings because of lack of evidence.

The second team filed a closure report citing possible chain of events which might have taken place on the crime scene indicating role of Talwars but could not produce any forensic evidence suggesting involvement of the dentist couple.

The report was rejected by Magistrate Preeti Singh who said there was ample circumstantial evidence for Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to face murder charges in the case.

The decision was upheld by the Allahabad high court and the Supreme Court. After the trial, Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal found the parents guilty of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

During the trial, Rajesh and Nupur Talwars wanted that narco tests should be placed on record but Allahabad high court as well as the Supreme Court rejected their demand

The Supreme Court had said they were "adopting dilatory tactics on every moment".

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