Published: 08th June 2020
SC transfers case of NLU, Jodhpur student death to CBI after no action taken for 3 years
The bench, also comprising Justices Navin Sinha and B R Gavai, asked them to file their replies with two weeks, and said that it would hear the state about the status of the probe conducted by police
The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea seeking transfer of investigation from Rajasthan Police to the CBI in a case of death of a third year student of National Law University, Jodhpur, in August 2017. A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, hearing the matter through video-conferencing, issued notices to the Rajasthan government, the CBI and another respondent seeking their responses on the plea filed by Neetu Kumar Nagaich, mother of 21-year-old victim Vikrant Nagaich.
The bench, also comprising Justices Navin Sinha and B R Gavai, asked them to file their replies with two weeks, and said that it would hear the state about the status of the probe conducted by police. Besides seeking transfer of case from the Crime Branch, Jaipur, Nagaich has sought a direction to the CBI to take all steps to "solve the mystery of the unnatural death".
While claiming that an FIR was lodged in the case after a delay of around 10 months, in June 2018, she has alleged that the manner in which probe has been conducted "leads to an inescapable reasonable apprehension" that it is a result of a "probable collusion to shield some high, mighty and influential person(s)".
"Despite lapse of almost three years, no charge-sheet has been filed. The investigation is at a stand-still, with no effort made to apprehend the offenders," said the plea, which was argued by advocate Sunil Fernandes. It has also pointed out to several alleged lapses in the investigation conducted by the police.
It said that on August 13, 2017, the victim went to a restaurant, around 300 meters from the varsity campus, with his friends in the evening but he did not return and his body was found next morning near the railway track. It said the police has till date neither approached Google or Facebook nor retrieved the victim's mobile phone data which could have helped in tracing his movement to ascertain the events on the night of August 13, 2017 and led to further probe.
The plea said the police has also not retrieved the victim's chat conversations from WhatsApp on the night of the alleged incident. It said chat conversation would have been important in ascertaining who the victim was talking to or planning to meet at that hour and it would also have been instrumental in unearthing the events which led to the death.
"The chronology of events raised a reasonable suspicion that the death of petitioner's son was not merely an accident, or suicide but was something more grave and profound, which demanded immediate consideration and investigation. However, the same was not carried out by the investigation agency, and the petitioner was left dismayed and devastated after the death of her only child," the plea said.