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The Hindu thehindu.com 06 Aug, 2022 00:15 am

A frame-up most foul

A frame-up most foul
Nearly three years after Komal Lodha, a young farm labourer, was sentenced to death by a trial court for the rape and murder of a tribal child in his village, the Rajasthan High Court has found that he was wrongfully prosecuted in the case. Abhinay Lakshman reports on the police investigation that led to the conviction

Four years later, the State Police have been forced to reopen the investigation into Naina’s death and start from scratch after the Rajasthan High Court found that the DNA evidence in the case absolved Lodha and that he had been wrongfully prosecuted by the police.Today, despite the High Court’s finding, some still hold Lodha responsible, while others are confused.So, we believed them and held him responsible,” says Naina’s mother, after finding out in July this year about the Rajasthan High Court’s ruling.After relying on this evidentiary material, which the Rajasthan High Court has now ruled as “circumstantial”, the trial court relied on the DNA evidence presented before it by the prosecution to convict Lodha.

Based on these findings of the DNA analysis, the Rajasthan High Court concluded that the police had failed to look at the evidence at hand in their rush to prosecute the case, and evidence seemed to have been planted on Lodha to secure a conviction.What strengthened the High Court’s suspicion of evidence being planted was that the police showed recovery of the underwear nearly seven hours after Lodha’s arrest.

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