HC stric­tures put CBI in a dilemma

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY | AARUSHI VERDICT - @times­group.com

New Delhi: Al­la­habad high court’s or­der ac­cus­ing CBI of fab­ri­cat­ing ev­i­dence to nail Tal­wars in the Arushi-Hem­raj mur­der case may cre­ate a dilemma for the agency when it gets down to de­lib­er­ate its op­tions.

CBI ap­peared to have taken the ver­dict of Al­la­habad HC in its stride and did not seem gung-ho on fil­ing an ap­peal. The crux of the HC ver­dict- Tal­wars de­serve ben­e­fit of doubt be­cause of lack of enough ev­i­dence- mir­rored the stand CBI took in the trial court in De­cem­ber 29, 2010 by fil­ing a clo­sure re­port. It was the trial court which re­jected CBI’s plea and asked the agency to pros­e­cute Tal­wars.

Be­sides, CBI also has to reckon with the fact that chal­leng­ing Al­la­habad HC judge­ment in the Supreme Court is go­ing to be a long drawn process, and that the ex­er­cise will see CBI , con­sid­er­ing that there is no scope for fresh in­ves­ti­ga­tion, mak­ing the same ar­gu­ments.

But HC’s in­dict­ment of the CBI may have com­pli­cated mat- ters for the agency, forc­ing it to take a hard look at what should it do. The two-judge bench ac­cused the agency of tam­per­ing with and plant­ing ev­i­dence as well as tu­tor­ing wit­nesses in or­der to frame the den­tist cou­ple.

The harsh words pose a se­ri­ous chal­lenge to the cred­i­bil­ity of the probe agency and could turn out to be the goad for the lead­er­ship to ap­proach the Supreme Court to get, as an of­fi­cer put it, its name cleared. “To sal­vage its cred­i­bil­ity, CBI can chal­lenge the ac­quit­tal and strongly ar­gue its case against Tal­wars in the Supreme Court,” said the of­fi­cer. The fi­nal call in the mat­ter will be of CBI direc­tor Alok Varma.

This year it­self, CBI had moved the Bom­bay high court chal­leng­ing the Goa Chil­dren’s court or­der ac­quit­ting two per­sons charged with sex­u­ally abus­ing Bri­tish teenager Scar­lett Eden Keel­ing and leav­ing her to die on An­juna beach in 2008.

The agency of­fi­cially main­tained on Fri­day that “it will study the Al­la­habad HC or­der in Aarushi-Hem­raj mur­der case, and then take a call”.

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