Protect the innocent

The CBI is trying to establish the guilt of a schoolmate of the murdered child.

The shoddy investigative work by the Gurgaon police in the Ryan school murder led to an innocent bus conductor being trapped to cover up gross police failure. Much the same thing may have happened with the Talwars and the double murder of their daughter and house help. The speed at which the police investigation was “closed” with the “spotting” of an accused, later blamed on media “pressure”, led to this outrage after a small boy’s horrific murder. Remarkably, Haryana’s top police official was heard saying “Koi baat nahin, chakta hai” (It doesn’t matter, things happen) while trying to justify the trauma suffered by an innocent man forced into a confession only to cover up police inefficiency.

The CBI is trying to establish the guilt of a schoolmate of the murdered child. The agency may not quite match the investigative skills and standards of America’s FBI, yet the clamour continues to call it in to crack sensitive cases, and state governments too are often keen to pass the buck. Given the hamhanded way it was found to have probed the Aarushi-Hemraj killing, it’s moot whether it should be involved in solving whodunits like the Ryan School murder. No doubt it will serve justice if the CBI helps establish the truth in these cases, but any murder investigation is predicated on how quickly the evidence is analysed before the crime spot gets distorted, and the trail runs cold. We must always be guided by the defining principle “It’s better that 10 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer”. Governments, the police and courts must err on the side of innocence.

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