A forensic examination of two electrical devices recovered from the scene of the controversial fire at the Secretariat here in August reportedly found no indication of an electrical malfunction, according to a recent court filing.
A senior police officer told The Hindu that investigators had collected 45 material objects from the scene of the fire for criminological examination to determine the cause of the blaze.
The forensic laboratory had examined two items and submitted its preliminary finding in court in a sealed cover. It was in the process of reviewing the rest of the evidence.
The police would reach a final conclusion only after analysing the forensic results in entirety. He said preliminary evidence pointed to fire caused by an electrical short circuit. The police were yet to stumble upon any evidence suggesting sabotage or arson.
The Congress and the BJP said the court filing belied the claim of the State government that electrical short circuit had caused the “mysterious” fire.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the forensic report had lent credence to the suspicion that the fire was an act of sabotage to destroy evidence in the UAE consulate-linked gold smuggling case.
The fire had consumed records relating to transactions of the State government with foreign entities, foreign visits by Ministers, duty exemption granted to foreign missions to import goods and details of persons accorded VIP Status, he alleged.
The government feared that Central law enforcement agencies would seek those files as part of their investigation into the case. Hence, in a preemptive move, the government had destroyed the files, Mr Chennithala said and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
BJP State president K. Surendran said the report pointed to a deep-rooted conspiracy to destroy evidence in the gold smuggling case. The economic offence, which had the tacit approval of higher-ups in the government, had profound national security implications.