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J&K HC rejects CBI plea to close Shopian case

March 03, 2010 16:46 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir high court has rejected Central Bureau of Investigation's plea to close the Shopian case involving death of two women in controversial circumstances and directed it to file an affidavit on polygraph tests conducted on six persons, including four policemen, on directions of the court.

Recalling proceedings of the case so far, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir on Tuesday observed that there was just a cursory mention of polygraph tests conducted on the persons directed by the court.

"The CBI shall file an affidavit explaining the details of the polygraph tests," the court ordered.

The CBI had on Monday asked the HC to close the Shopian case as the investigating agency has already completed its probe as per directions of the court and submitted chargesheet in the relevant trial court.

Appearing on behalf of the CBI, senior advocate Anil Bhan submitted before the division bench that the court should close the case as there was nothing left for it to monitor.

"Since the investigating agency has already presented the chargesheet before the relevant court, there is nothing left to monitor for this Honourable court. So, it is submitted that the case may please be closed," Bhan said.

He said it was for the trial court to decide whether the chargesheet was good or bad in the eyes of the law. The bench also directed the state government to file a separate affidavit on the need to register a second FIR in connection with the Shopian incident when one FIR of rape and murder had already been registered in the case.

"What was the reason for registering second FIR (about the destruction of evidence)? What progress was made in the investigations in the second FIR and what stage was it handed over to the CBI?" Chief Justice Barin Ghosh said in his order on behalf of the bench.

The court also observed that it has received a letter from a person, which it did not want to name, raising questions about the case and directed the CBI to deal with it separately.

"We have received a letter from someone, whom we do not want to name, who has raised some questions quoting authorities. We want you to deal with it separately," the court said.

The court directed that the case be listed for another hearing after three weeks. The HC has been monitoring the investigations into the case after a PIL filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association, which later withdrew from the case alleging that the CBI was brought in only to cover up the crime.

The CBI, which concluded that Neelofar and Asiya Jan had drowned and there was no foul play in their death, on December 14 chargesheeted six doctors, five lawyers and two civilians for fabricating evidence and intimidating witnesses to implicate police and security forces personnel in offences which carry capital punishment.

The chief judicial magistrate, Srinagar, on February 17, enlarged the accused persons in the case on bail. Widespread protests were held across Kashmir and Shopian town remained shut for 47 days after allegations that Neelofar and her sister-in-law Asiya were raped before being murdered by men in uniform in May last year.

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