The alleged lapses by the Raigad police in the Sheena Bora murder investigation have been compounded by the charge that the bone samples found in 2012 do not match the ones recently exhumed.
Sheena Bora, 24, was killed allegedly by her mother, media executive Indrani Mukerjea, step-father Sanjeev Khanna, and a driver inside a car in April 2012, in Mumbai. The body was allegedly taken to the forests of Raigad and burnt.
Doctors at Nair hospital who conducted the forensic tests now say that samples sent in 2012 from a body recovered in the forest was not Sheena Bora's. Also, there were discrepancies in the sample and their description.
For example, a bone called a clavicle, though mentioned in the list, was not part of the sample. Though the doctors pointed this out at the time in their report, the police never collected it then.
"A lot bodies that are dumped there, so it may belong to a different person... the Pen police station personnel had brought the bones," said the Dean of Mumbai's JJ Hospital, Dr T P Lahane. A team at JJ Hospital had studied the samples in 2012 and filed a report.
The discovery is not expected to affect the medico-legal case, said Dr Lahane.
The remains found by the Mumbai police as per the directions of an accused in the case - Indrani Mukerjea's driver -- have been identified as Sheena Bora's following forensic examination. But had the 2012 bone samples also matched, it could have been used as added evidence, he added.
The discrepancy, however, adds to the charges of the mishandling of the case by the Raigad police, who had tagged it as an unclaimed body and abandoned the case.
Last week, a police inspector, Subhash Mirge claimed that after the body was found in 2012, he was asked not to file a case by a senior officer. It is possible that had a case been filed, the murder would not have gone undetected for three years.
Sources, meanwhile, told NDTV that the Mumbai Police officers who cracked the case are upset with the government's decision to order a CBI probe. But Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the case involves financial transaction outside the country and "it is logical for the CBI to look into it".