Bhanwari Devi case trial stuck as American DNA expert failed to appear before court: Defence counsel

Jodhpur | The trial in the Bhanwari Devi abduction and murder case has been stuck for about two years as American DNA expert Amber B Carr has failed to appear in court, a defence counsel argued here while demanding the removal of her name from the list of prosecution witnesses.

The expert who works with the FBI has not appeared in the court despite being issued five summons. She was first issued summons in May 2017.

The CBI has been pleading for her to be examined through video-conferencing but the defence has been protesting against it. “We want her to be examined in person but the insistence of the CBI on video-conferencing, despite the court’s refusal, is nothing but a tactic to delay the trial,” defence counsel Jagmal Singh Choudhary claimed.

Choudhary on Tuesday moved an application in court for removing Carr from the list of witnesses and to proceed with the trial in order to complete it as soon as possible. “We have asked the trial court to remove Carr from the list of witnesses. In spite of repeated prayers, the court has not been granting our plea which is not justified,” he said. He alleged that instead of producing the witness, the prosecution has been just seeking time over and over again to delay the trail.

The prosecution told the court that they have moved an application in the high court against the rejection of their appeal to grant them permission to carry out Carr’s examination through video conferencing. “Since we have moved an application in the high court, we prayed the trail court to adjourn the hearing,” a CBI counsel said.

Granting the CBI’s plea, the court adjourned the matter till March 25 after conducting the hearing for two successive days on Monday and Tuesday. Carr had tested bones purportedly of Devi which were recovered by the CBI from a canal near Jaloda village.

Since the bones were charred, they could not be tested for DNA in India and were sent to the US at FBI’s forensic laboratory, where Carr had carried out the DNA 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.

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