Bhanwari Devi case: Court rejects CBI plea to examine FBI DNA expert via video conferencing

Amber B Carr, the DNA expert from the FBI, had examined the burnt bones recovered by the CBI from a canal near Jodhpur.

Published: 15th November 2018 01:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2018 01:12 AM   |  A+A-

Matermind behind the 2011 ANM Bhanwari Devi abduction-murder case, Indira Bishnoi (middle) after being handed over to CBI sleuths by Rajasthan ATS in Jodhpur on Saturday | Pradeep Joshi

By PTI

JODHPUR: A court hearing the Bhanwari Devi abduction-and-murder case Wednesday rejected the CBI's plea seeking to examine a DNA expert of the FBI through video conferencing.

Amber B Carr, the DNA expert from the FBI, had examined the burnt bones recovered by the CBI from a canal near Jodhpur.

According to the CBI, Devi was burnt and dumped in the canal by her killers.

"The charred bones were sent to the US for DNA testing. At the FBI's' forensic laboratory, Carr conducted a DNA examination, confirming them to be human bones," the prosecution counsel said.

While the CBI wants Carr to be examined through video conferencing as she did not turn up in the court despite issuance of three summons, the defence has been insisting on her appearance in the court for examination as an important witness.

Objecting to the CBI's plea, defence counsel Hemant Nahta argued that neither the rules of the high court nor the criminal procedure code provides for recording of statements of a witness through video conferencing.

"Also a criminal trial court has no power to lay down a procedure regarding examination of a witness through video conferencing," Nahta said.

"We also suspect that in case of video conferencing, the witness could be tutored to narrate the story of the prosecution," he said.

Turning down the CBI plea, the court decided to issue a fresh summons to Carr, asking her to appear before it for examination.

Devi, an auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011.

She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna in a compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some television news channels.

The CBI had said Devi was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur's Bilara area and killed.

Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, the agency had alleged.

Maderna, who represented the Osian assembly constituency, was arrested on December 2, 2011 in Jodhpur by the CBI.

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