The Delhi high court on Tuesday transferred the investigation into the disappearance of Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmad, missing since last October, to the Central Bureau of Investigation from the police with immediate effect.
A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Rekha Palli transferred the matter to the CBI on a plea by the student’s mother after the Delhi Police said it has no problem with such a direction.
The court said the probe by the CBI would be supervised by an officer, not less than the rank of a deputy inspector general.
While transferring the matter, the court noted that the Delhi Police had implemented all directions and suggestions given by the court.
The matter will be taken up next on July 17.
The student had gone missing a day after an altercation with some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad students on the night of October 14, 2016. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh students’ wing in JNU has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
The high court had on May 12 rapped the police over the manner of its probe into the disappearance of Ahmad, saying it appeared to be looking for an ‘escape route’ and was ‘beating around the bush’.
The court had said the conduct of the police showed it was trying to sensationalise the matter or looking for a way out as it was filing reports in sealed covers and ‘there was nothing confidential, damaging or crucial’ in them.
It was referring to the forensic analysis reports of the missing student’s laptop and call records that the police had filed in a sealed cover but had initially not even shared with its own lawyer.
The court had also lashed out at the police saying it has been ‘beating around the bush and not in the bush’ as it has been sending people across the country and setting up special investigating teams, but the nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance were neither questioned, nor were they taken into custody.
The police has faced the wrath of the court several times earlier too in this case for the manner in which it has been carrying out the probe and not sharing some information with their own lawyers.
Noting that the messages of the suspected students have not yet been examined, the court had said if the messages of the period when Najeeb went missing have been deleted, ‘then that in itself is incriminating’.
Blasting the manner the police carried out the probe, the court had said ‘if today it is Najeeb, tomorrow it could be anybody, just because he belongs to some other community or a political body’.
Responding to the court's observations, Deputy Commissioner of Police Ram Gopal Naik, who heads the SIT, had told the court how he went about investigating the case and what aspects and angles, including that of Najeeb’s medical condition, were considered by him.
The court was hearing a plea by Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, seeking the whereabouts about her son who went missing from the JNU campus and is yet to be traced.
Now she is seeking dismantling of the SIT and setting up of an independent SIT of police officers from outside Delhi.