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Dhanbad judge death probe: Explain why 2 brain profiling tests on accused, HC tells CBI

🔴 The BEOS profiling, also known as brain fingerprinting, is a neuro-psychological method of interrogation in which the suspect's participation in a crime is investigated by studying his brain’s electrical activity as a response to the accused being shown a video clip or sound clips among others.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Ranchi |
Updated: January 29, 2022 7:11:53 am
Dhanbad judge death probe, Dhanbad judge death case, Dhanbad judge death, JHARKHAND High Court, CBI, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsChief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad asked the CBI to produce its internal manual or guidelines on investigation to check if there is any provision that allows the test – Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) profiling – a second time if the accused showed “intention” to kill in the first. (File)

THE JHARKHAND High Court, which is monitoring the probe into the alleged murder of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand last year, has pulled up the CBI for conducting brain fingerprinting tests on the two accused twice – four months apart – which gave contradictory results.

Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad asked the CBI to produce its internal manual or guidelines on investigation to check if there is any provision that allows the test – Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) profiling – a second time if the accused showed “intention” to kill in the first.

The BEOS profiling, also known as brain fingerprinting, is a neuro-psychological method of interrogation in which the suspect’s participation in a crime is investigated by studying his brain’s electrical activity as a response to the accused being shown a video clip or sound clips among others.

On July 28 last year, the judge was on a morning walk when an autorickshaw veered towards him on an empty road and knocked him down. The incident was caught on CCTV cameras.

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The police had arrested two suspects, Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, both residents of Dhanbad, after which the CBI took over the probe and re-registered a case.

In its charge sheet filed in a Dhanbad court on October 20, the CBI claimed that Rahul was a “professional thief who keeps looking for vulnerable targets”, and that he and his accomplice Lakhan had been “looking for a chance to execute the plan”. It remained silent on what the plan was and on the crime motive.

During the last weekly hearing on January 21 of the CBI’s probe progress, the court observed that in the first brain profiling test on the two accused in September last year, one of them indicated that he had been given an assignment to hit the judge. However, the CBI got the tests conducted again in January this year in which the accused indicated he was not even present when the incident happened.

The bench said: “This court has perused BEOS report wherein the results of two accused persons… to the effect that one of the accused persons indicated that he was given an assignment to hit Judgesahab, i.e., late Uttam Anand.”

“It has also been stated that the said accused person had done recce of Judgesahab’s residence. The said accused person took help of another accused person to execute his plan. On 28.07.2021, when they saw Judgesahab, one of the accused persons asked another accused person to accelerate his auto’s speed and thereafter, one of the accused persons had seen Judgesahab falling down on the road with the hit of auto.”

This detail is significant as the CBI in its charge sheet had not mentioned it.

 

The court then cited the second BEOS report. “We have also seen the subsequent BEOS… he (the accused) took U-turn in the subsequent BEOS report…, stating that he was not present in the auto…. He also revealed that he has no idea about the accident,” the bench said. It then asked the CBI what led it to subject the accused to the second BEOS test.

After the CBI said it did so as no clue emerged in between, the bench said, “This court is not in agreement with such explanation of conducting second BEOS test after lapse of about 4 months wherein a complete contradictory recording has come up the said accused persons.”

“This court… deems it fit and proper to see the internal guideline/manual of CBI, formulated for the purpose of carrying out investigation of a case, as to whether there is any guideline to go for subsequent BEOS examination in a case where in the previous examination, the statement of concerned accused has already been recorded showing the intention of killing.”

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