India Intelligence Report

Delhi Police Admits Irregularities in Jessica Investigation


Responding to public outrage across the nation, the Delhi Police announced that it will start an inquiry into determining who, what, and how "mistakes in the probe" in the murder of Jessica Lall. Eight years ago, a former Federal Minister’s son, inebriated and incensed at not being served alcohol, was accused of shooting the model and barmaid before scores of witnesses. Three years after the incident, Inspector K.K. Paul, the present Delhi Police Commissioner, had filed a report noting irregularities in the investigation. He charged that “unknown persons” had removed the cartridges used to kill Lall and switched them with bogus ones; forged police diaries to cause confusion; inserted conflicting evidence to create reasonable doubt; tampered and removed evidence from the scene of the crime; and insufficient efforts made to recover the murder weapon. Two key witnesses who were near Lall deposed against the accused Manu Sharma but turned hostile at a later stage claiming that the police extracted statements from them. The new investigation will focus on investigating officers, witnesses, and forensic officials who may have compromised the investigation. The country was stupefied when all the accused were acquitted for insufficient evidence and Sharma leaving the court in a Government vehicle. The judge who delivered the verdict was coincidentally promoted to the High Court. A public interest litigation (PIL) challenging this promotion implying judicial malice was squashed by the Supreme Court by an angry bench which castigated the advocated to have faith in judicial promotional process. The PIL is a reflection of widespread social cynicism of judicial and investigative processes in the country, which is partial to the famous and powerful often, literally letting them, get away with murder. Interestingly, a recent case of a wife of a Congress party leader well known in social circles was shot in public about 100 feet from the Superintend of Police in Lucknow. The two absconding youth accused of attempted murder were inebriated and has close links with the Uttar Pradesh mafia tied to the Samajwadi Party. Many fear that they too may get away because the Samajwadi Party is in power in Uttar Pradesh and is known for its criminal and careless attitude towards law enforcement especially when it comes to protecting its party interests.

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