Mumbai, Oct 26: The Bombay High Court has ordered that clothes of four accused in the 2003 Dr Asha Goel murder case should be sent to Canada for advanced forensic tests, called ‘mito-chondrial DNA tests,’ in order to establish that the four committed the crime.
The accused had allegedly washed their clothes, splattered with the victim’s blood, to remove the stains. The mito-chondrial tests — that help identify ethnic origins and the direct maternal line — can determine whose blood the clothes were stained with. India has no facility for these tests.
A division bench of Justice J N Patel and Roshan Dalvi directed the investigating officer in the case to personally take the clothes and other articles used in the killing — a vegetable peeler, a vegetable pairing knife, a pillow and a piece of a granite baseboard — for the tests after the victim’s NRI husband and petitioner Dr S K Goel requested that advanced tests be carried out.
Dr Goel told the court that as the clothes had been washed, it would be difficult to come to any conclusion about the killers.
However, he said, Canadian laboratories were capable of finding out whose blood-stains had been there on the clothes before they were removed.
Since Dr Asha Goel was a Canada citizen and practised medicine there, the Canadian government has filed an affidavit in Bombay High Court saying it will not charge for the tests, public prosecutor Raja Thackeray told Mumbai Mirror.
Travel expenses of investigating officers will be borne by the petitioner.
Case so far
• Dr Asha Goel, 62, was on a visit to India when she was murdered at her brother Suresh Agarwal’s 11th floor flat in Sudhakar building, Malabar Hill, on August 14, 2003. Police found 21 injuries on her body, including a massive head injury, a broken jaw, a ruptured liver and numerous stab wounds.
• Police arrested four persons for the murder: Narendra Goel, Agarwal’s son-in-law, and Pradeep Parab, Pawankumar Goenka and Manohar Shinde, all of whom took care of huge properties belonging to Agarwal.
• According to police, there was a property dispute in the Agarwal family, among the brothers Suresh, Subhash, and Shekhar and sisters Asha, Uma, Aruna and Karuna, over a textile mill owned by their father Ranchondas Agarwal. The issue reportedly caused frequent quarrels in the family.
• Parab subsequently confessed before the magistrate that he and Suresh Agarwal’s son-in-law Narendra Goel and Subhash Agarwal’s employee Pawan Goenka had hatched a conspiracy to kill Dr Goel.