Even as the CBI relied on an expert in the field of facial superimposition to prove that the skull found in Raigad was that of Sheena Bora, her mother and accused in the murder case, Indrani Mukerjea, alleged that the technology was “amateurish” and “not befitting scientific process”. Dr Sunil Kumar Tripathi, a 72-year-old retired professor in Forensic Medicine Institute of Medical Sciences, Benaras Hindu University, had deposed last week, claiming the photographs of Bora provided to him matched with the skull.
While cross-examining Tripathi, Mukerjea’s lawyer Sudeep Pasbola on Tuesday claimed the technology, Cranio Facial Super Imposition, use in establishing identity of a skull through live photographs, can only be used to exclude persons than conclusively prove identity. Tripathi said it is one of the theories used for exclusion rather than identification. “It is correct to say that the technique is good for exclusion of potential matches. It is not correct to say that the technique is so accurate if two images match, they represent one and only one person,” the witness said in response to suggestions by the defence.
Mukerjea’s lawyer claimed that the expert’s report was erroneous since the technique requires a complete set of teeth, no comparison with a photograph can be done to establish identity. The expert said that since the complete set was not available, only the visible teeth were used to establish its identity. Cross-examination by Peter’s lawyer will continue on Wednesday.
While CBI has so far examined forensic experts to establish that the remains found were that of Bora, the expert on facial superimposition was also examined to give credence to the agency’s claim.