Court fines FSL officer for non-appearance

Court fines FSL officer for non-appearance

Udupi District and Sessions Court Judge Venkatesh Naik on Monday ordered assistant director of DNA wing of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL)-Bengaluru to furnish a bond amount of Rs 10,000 to state government for failing to appear in the court despite issuing warrants.

Assistant director of DNA wing of FSL Purushottam was one among the 36 witnesses listed in the chargesheet filed by the investigating officer in Bhaskar Shetty murder case. The court had ordered Purushotham to depose before the court and examine the copy of medical report issued by Bengaluru-based Kanva Diagnostics Services Private Limited. A third bailable warrant was issued against  Purushotham when he did not heed to previous orders on testifying in the case.

The public prosecutor attempted to shield Purushotham from the judge’s ire by citing health issues. The judge was informed on how Purushottam suffered from a `disc problem’ and thus was unable to travel. Barring the DNA official all 35 key witnesses had been examined and their statements recorded. Unhappy with the officer’s prolonged absence, the court ordered the drawing officer to recover the bond of Rs 10,000 from the salary of Purushotham. 

The court has been under tremendous pressure, after the Supreme Court had ordered it to examine and record statements of all 36 witnesses within six months from April 23, 2018. A conditional bail granted to Rajeshwari Shetty by the Supreme Court on the same day was not executed as the statements of all 36 witnesses was not recorded as per SC’s order.

The statements of main accused and Bhaskar’s wife Rajeshwari, his son Navneeth and astrologer Niranjan Bhat were recorded through video conferencing facility arranged in the court.

The court adjourned the case for the next hearing on October 26.