Were post-mortem papers tampered in Shopian case file?
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 08, 2009, 23:23
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday reserved its decision on the revision petition filed by two accused police officers in the Shopian rape and murder case after a revelation that injury form filled by doctors during first post-mortem were removed from the case files.

SP Javid Iqbal Mattoo and Deputy SP Rohit Baskotra who were arrested for allegedly destroying evidence in the rape and murder case of two women had filed the revision petition after session court rejected their bail plea.

Justice Sunil Hali reserved the orders after defence counsel for the accused police officers Aseem Mehrotra concluded his counter-arguments.

Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri and Kashmir High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom, during their arguments had opposed the bail plea of the officers.

Mehrotra created sensation in the Court by alleging that injury form filled by doctors during first post-mortem on bodies of victims Neelofar Jan and her teenaged sister-in-law Aasiya Jan, were removed from the case file.

"The first injury form filled by the doctors showed just a linear injury, which means a superficial cut, and there was no mention of incisive cut. It was removed from the case file," the lawyer said.

When asked about the basis of his claim, Mehrotra said he had managed to get that injury form. He later submitted the form to the court.

The argument was strongly opposed by SP Shah Din Malik of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) who said "Linear cut means a straight injury which can be caused by a sharp edged weapon."

Judge made some scathing observations about the investigations of the SIT saying it seemed that it was restricted to determining the role of the arrested police officers in the case.

"The directions of the Division Bench on narco analysis of the witnesses (who deposed under section 164-A) and expanding the scope of investigation have not been followed," Justice Hali said.

"The SIT has not gone into the failure of the doctors to conduct the full post-mortem. There is nothing on record to suggest anything been done with regard to fudging of the slides (containing vaginal smears)," he added.

Mehrotra continued his arguments saying Dr Nighat Shaheen, the gynaecologist who was part of the second post mortem team, should be interrogated.

"Custodial interrogation of Nighat Shaheen and the Senior Scientific officer of FSL Srinagar, who kept the report with him for six days, was crucial in getting to the truth and who they (state) want to protect," he said.

He said none of the police officers were present when the second team of doctors performed the post-mortem, an argument rejected by father of Neelofar.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 08, 2009, 23:23

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