Mystery surrounds DNA report in JPMC rape probe -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Mystery surrounds DNA report in JPMC rape probe

By Imran Ayub

KARACHI: The probe into a sexual assault on a trainee nurse allegedly by a medico-legal officer at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre has become mysterious with police investigators claiming that the objects available for the crucial DNA test were not enough, it emerged on Friday.

Background interviews with the officials associated with the investigation process indicated that the police recently requested their high-ups to constitute a medical board to complete the part of investigation dealing with medical examinations.

They told their superiors that despite their requests the health officials concerned had not provided all the evidence sought by the Institute of Biomedical and Genetic Engineering (IBGE) in Islamabad to issue the final DNA report. However, the medico-legal department of the health ministry denied having received any such requests from them.

The police investigators had sent samples to the IBGE, Islamabad, for a DNA match more than a week ago. It is worth noting that the results of such a test are generally out within three to four days.

“The [DNA] report has not yet been received, as the institute in Islamabad has sought all the evidence and samples which were collected just after the incident to give a final word,” said an official privy to the recent developments.

“They [IBGE officials] argued that the samples which had been sent to them were not enough, and that all those samples or pieces of evidence which were analysed during the medico-legal and chemical examinations were needed,” he told Dawn.

The police investigators claimed that the officials concerned did not hand over the pieces of evidence and objects, which they had collected for the medico-legal section and the chemical examinations. “They [the health ministry officials concerned] believe that such pieces of evidence always remain in their possession throughout the legal proceedings of a case and canÂ’t be handed over without a court’s verdict,” said another official citing a recent communication between the officials concerned.

“The investigators have formally requested their high-ups that a medical board comprising members from the federal and provincial government institutions be formed to analyse the situation and complete the part of the investigations dealing with the medical examinations,” said the official.

The Saddar police had booked the medico-legal officer in a case (FIR 332/2010) under Sections 324 (attempted murder) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code for the alleged sexual assault on a trainee nurse, who was found unconscious in the residential area of the JPMC, on July 13.

The initial reports of medico-legal and chemical examinations stated that the trainee nurse was subjected to a sexual assault, which was also confirmed a week later by the victim in her statement recorded by the police.

The health ministry official concerned speaking to Dawn denied having received any such request from the police investigators.

“Firstly, it is beyond everyone’s understanding what more objects, traces or pieces of evidences are required for the DNA match. Secondly, we have neither been told about this development by the police nor anyone came up with any such request,” said an official at the police surgeon office that heads the medico-legal department of the provincial health ministry.

The IBGE could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Source: Dawn
Date:7/31/2010