New Delhi: Two years after a child was buried, exhumation of his grave has been ordered by a Delhi court to enable a DNA examination to establish the identity of the victim in a kidnap and murder case.
The court passed the order for exhuming the remains of the child after the DNA from the body did not match the DNA of the parents of a six-year-old missing boy, who was allegedly kidnapped in 2012.
Additional Sessions Judge directed that the exhumation proceedings be videographed and conducted after taking due care of the "social, religious and personal sensibilities".
"Though the correctness and authenticity of this (DNA) report has been challenged before court by the prosecution yet, assuming that the same is correct, then the entire case put forth by the prosecution against the accused collapses.
"The two questions which then arise are firstly -- where is the missing child and, secondly -- who is the child whose skeleton has been found on the banks of the drain," the judge said.
The court was hearing a case in which the prosecution has alleged that an accused, one Ashish, had kidnapped his landlord`s minor son in 2012 in an act of revenge.
According to police, the tenant was in an illicit relationship with a woman, who is a co-accused in the case, and his landlord was against it. Fed up with the interference in his personal life by the landlord, the accused kidnapped his son to teach him a lesson.
Later, a body was found near a drain in Swaroop Nagar which police said was that of the missing child.
But during the trial, a DNA test which was conducted upon court orders to establish the identity of the body showed that the result did not match with the kidnapped boy`s parents.
The court, which was hearing final arguments in the case, deferred the proceedings, saying it cannot rush to any conclusion on the basis of incomplete particulars.
"I have considered the submissions made before me and am of a view that it is necessary for this court to ensure that complete truth emerges and justice is done.
"I therefore defer the proceedings... And permit exhumation of the skeletal remains of the child, who I am informed was buried at Libaspur Cremation Ground. Exhumation shall be done under the personal supervision of the ACP concerned," the judge said.
The prosecutor argued that the possibility of the DNA report being erroneous cannot be ruled out and also pointed out that it was a serious matter.
The court said that after the SHO/ACP are able to successfully exhume the skeletal remains, they shall immediately seal the same and inform the court.
Thereafter, the exhibits (exhumed remains) will be sent for expert examination/DNA fingerprinting, the report of which should be obtained on priority, it said.
It also permitted the counsel for the accused to remain present at the time of the exhumation.
The child`s father said he also wanted to know whether the skeleton found at the instance of the accused belonged to his son. He submitted that he has no objection with the exhumation proceedings and would fully co-operate in pointing out the exact place at the cemetery where the minor was buried.
The ACP of the area had submitted before court that if they go by the DNA report given by FSL Rohini, which show that the remains do not match the DNA of the missing child`s parents, then it is a serious issue because that suggests that the missing child has not been traced and also raises questions as to the identity of the remains.
He had said that in case the remains did not belong to the deceased child, then further investigation has to be conducted in order to establish the identity of the skeleton which was recovered.