The trial in the Bhanwari Devi kidnapping and murder case will now proceed without the testimony of prosecution witness Amber B Carr, a DNA expert with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as the two-month time granted by the Supreme Court to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to produce her before the trial court ended Thursday.
CBI special counsel Ashok Joshi said Ms Carr has not appeared before the court for the examination despite repeated summons being issued to her.
The trial court has now decided to proceed with defence witnesses, he said.
The CBI once again sought permission from the court to issue fresh summons to Ms Carr, who had conducted the DNA examination of Devi's charred bones at the FBI's forensic laboratory, but the court did not allow it.
Bhanwari Devi, who was posted as an auxiliary nurse midwife in Jaliwara village of Jodhpur, had gone missing in September 2011.
Her husband Amarchand, who was later found to be involved in the case, had alleged that she was abducted at the behest of Mahipal Maderna, who at the time was the Rajasthan Water Resources Minister in the Congress government.
Maderna was fired after a CD containing objectionable visuals of him with Devi was made public. Later, he was arrested by the CBI.
"On September 21, the accused would be submitting the list of their witnesses. After that, the accused would be asked to produce evidence in their defence," Mr Joshi said.
The trial in the case commenced in May 2012 with the examination of prosecution witnesses. The last prosecution witness was examined in September 2018 and the trial has been stuck ever since as the CBI has been unable to produce Ms Carr before the court.
A total of 22 summons were issued to Ms Carr between May 2017 and September 14, 2021.
The CBI had moved the Rajasthan High Court with a plea to allow Ms Carr to be examined through videoconferencing. However, the high court rejected the plea and directed the trial court to issue fresh summons to the FBI expert.
The CBI then moved the Supreme Court, which granted the agency two months to produce Ms Carr before the court. The Supreme Court had said that if the agency was unable to produce Carr before the court within this period, its special leave petition would be considered rejected.
The two-month period ended on Thursday.
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