Using Science, Abusing Power


More examples of Institutionalised corruption, this time of Forensic laboratories, in the cases of Sister Abhaya and Varun Gandhi.


Invisible hands ‘dissolve’ narco-test evidence


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Invisible hands’ seem to have worked once again to sabotage the CBI inquiry into the Sister Abhaya murder case. The socalled master tapes of the narco analysis test, conducted on the three accused have been tampered with, a team of technical experts in the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) here, found out.

The report of the C-DIT team will be submitted in the CJM court, Ernakulam, which is monitoring the inquiry of the case, on Monday. Sources said that there was excessive editing and the use of the dissolve technique in the narco analysis CDs of Fr Thomas M Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthrukkaayil and Sister Sephy – the three accused in the case. The findings of the committee suggest that the original master tapes were kept out of the CBI’s reach by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore.

The editing, suspected to have been carried out at FSL Bangalore, was allegedly done to provide enough loopholes for the culprits to break free from the clutches of the law. Earlier, CBI DySP R K Agrawal who had inquired into the case, informed the High Court that the FSL authorities had edited the tapes before handing over them to the CBI. But the court ignored the scientific argument of Agrawal and concluded that it was the CBI that had manipulated the tapes.

The 32-minute, 50-second CD of the narco analysis performed on Fr Kottoor was edited in 30 places. The CD of Fr Puthrukkaayil (40-minute, 55-second) was edited in 19 places and the 18-minute, 42-second CD of Sister Sephy was edited at 23 places.

Apart from this, professional techniques such as dissolve were also used on the CDs.

Moreover, in many places the audio track failed to synchronise with lip movements.

The master tapes of the narco analysis were seized from the FSL Bangalore, by the CBI team led by DySP Nandakumar. The tapes were later converted to CD format and examined by the technical committee in the presence of an advocate commission appointed by the CJM court and CBI DySP Nandakumar.

The directive of CJM court, Ernakulam, to examine the authenticity of narco test master tapes, followed a petition filed by Sister Abhaya’s father Thomas Aikkarakunnel.


One lab says Varun CD doctored, another says no


New Delhi: The investigation into the alleged hate speeches given by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi in his constituency Pilibhit has come out with two conflicting versions.

Sources in the Central Scientific Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) in Chandigarh have told CNN-IBN that a CD which contained Varun’s voice had been doctored.

Sources in the Chandigarh laboratory say the voice in the CD matches Varun’s but it could have been edited to join sentences and make it look like one continuous speech by the Pilibhit MP.

The Chandigarh laboratory’s opinion contradicts what a FSL laboratory in Lucknow has said. The Lucknow laboratory said videotapes showing Varun giving speeches were not doctored and it was Varun’s voice.

“The FSL report, which was received by police yesterday (Sunday), has confirmed that the voice in the tapes is that of Varun Gandhi and the CD is not doctored,” said police officer Mani Ram Rao, who is investigating the complaints filed against Varun for his speeches at public meetings on March 7 and March 8.

Dr R S Varma, director of CFSL in Lucknow, refused to comment on his laboratory’s findings. “A CD on Varun Gandhi’s speech was sent to us, which was examined here in CSFL. We have sent the report to UP police,” he said.