Why no forensic report year after doc’s murder: HC

AGRA: Over a year after a Delhi-based gynaecologist, Dr Yogita Gautam, was found strangled and shot dead in Agra, the forensic report of key pieces of evidence — clumps of hair she was found clutching and those from the car used to kidnap her before she was murdered — has not been filed yet. Saying that “expeditious … investigation” is necessary for justice, the Allahabad high court has asked the principal secretary (home), UP DGP and the joint director of the Forensic Laboratory, Agra, to file their personal affidavits explaining the “inordinate delay”.
Dr Yogita, 30, had completed her Master of Surgery in obstetrics and gynaecology three days before she went missing and was killed on August 19 last year, allegedly by a doctor she had been in a relationship with, Orai district hospital medical officer Dr Vivek Tewari. She was practising at the SN Medical College in Agra at the time, where she became UP’s first gynaecologist to perform a Caesarean section on a Covid-19 patient. Her family is based in Delhi. Her father Ambesh Kumar is deputy commissioner of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and her brother Dr Mohinder Kumar Gautam works at the Charak Palika Hospital in Delhi.
“We approached the high court on September 1 because the DNA report (of the hair samples) had not been submitted despite reminders by the local court,” Mohinder said. On August 18 this year, the special judge of the SC/ST Act, Agra, where the case is being heard, had passed an order and sent reminders to officials about the forensic report but the lab authorities didn’t file it. The hair samples had been sent for forensic examination in September last year.
“It is submitted that even though the sessions court has passed orders and reminders to submit forensic report …(it) has not been submitted … although one year has passed,” the high court order, issued last Thursday said. “Expeditious, fair investigation not only result in a fair trial but is also necessary (for) justice. Learned AGA states that the trial has commenced. However, it is not denied that the forensic report may prove to be an important piece of evidence for the purpose of the trial.” The court ordered that the matter be set up as a fresh case on October 1.
Tewari had confessed to the crime and told the police that the “strained relationship” they shared was why he had killed her. The car she had been kidnapped in was found at his house and the gun he used to shoot her was one his father owned. “The autopsy found firearm wounds — one on the head, two on the chest — and one incision wound on the neck besides multiple cut marks on her left hand,” the family’s counsel SS Chauhan said. Tewari was arrested on murder, abduction, concealing evidence and criminal intimidation charges, and under the SC/ST Act.
UP ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said the court order will be complied with, adding, “Sometimes, delays are caused by backlog in the lab.”

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