The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside a Calcutta high court order for registration of murder case against prominent industrialist Ashok Kumar Todi and some police officers in the mysterious death of computer graphics teacher Rizwanur Rahman.
However, the court upheld the earlier orders of the high court for a probe against the accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation under section 306 IPC (abetment of suicide).
The court also permitted the CBI to proceed against the accused police officers and the other accused in accordance with law.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan termed as "unacceptable" the division bench order of May 18, 2010 for registration of cases under 302 (murder) and 120-B(criminal conspiracy) IPC against the accused.
The apex court passed the judgement on the cross appeals filed by the CBI and the Todis challenging the direction of the high court for registration of murder cases against them despite the agency earlier registering cases under section 306 IPC and other relevant sections.
Rizwanur was found dead near railway tracks in Dumdum area of Kolkata on September 21, 2007, just a month after his marriage to Ashok Todi's daughter Priyanka on August 18, 2007.
Ashok Todi, owner of the Rs 200-crore Lux Cozi hosiery brand, his brother Pradip and brother in-law Anil Sarogi are accused in the case along with senior IPS officers then serving in the Kolkata Police.
The high court had asked the CBI to probe the matter after registering a case of murder in connection with the incident.
A division bench of the high court had ordered fresh investigation after setting aside the CBI investigation earlier ordered by a single bench and directed the agency to complete the probe within four months.
Challenging the high court order, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for CBI, had submitted that a fresh probe was not required in the case as the agency had earlier conducted the detailed probe and arrived at the conclusion that an offence was made out for abetement of suicide against Ashok Todi and his relatives.
Todi pleaded he was ready to face the trial on the basis of findings of CBI and there was no need to conduct a fresh investigation in the three-and-half-year-old murder case.
The Government Railway Police was first entrusted with the investigations, following which the state government ordered a CID probe.
After this, the state instituted a judicial probe by a retired high court judge, which was withdrawn after the CBI probe was ordered by the Calcutta high court on October 16, 2007.
CBI, in its report, concluded that Rizwanur's death was a case of suicide and recommended initiation of an abatement to suicide case under Section 306 of the IPC.
Rizwanur's mother alleged the involvement of the then Kolkata Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, DCP (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh and Deputy Commissioner (detective department) Ajay Kumar in intimidating her son and claimed that the state CID probe would not be impartial.