New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday issued notice on a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged murder of National Law University (NLU) Jodhpur student Vikrant Nagaich in August 2017.
A bench comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha and B.R. Gavai has asked the Rajasthan authorities to file a status report on the probe. The case will be heard next in the first week of July.
Nagaich was found dead in an open ground near the railway track on 14 August 2017, behind Laxmi Guesthouse in Jodhpur. The place is usually thronged by NLU students.
While initially the death was being considered a suicide, Nagaich’s father suspected foul play and wrote to the then Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria and senior police officials about it.
Following this, in June 2018, the crime branch registered a case of murder against unknown persons under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code at the Mandor police station in Jodhpur.
The latest plea
Now, Nagaich’s mother has approached the Supreme Court claiming that the Rajasthan police has been “lackadaisical and negligent”, and alleges that this “is a result of probable collusion to shield some high, mighty and influential person(s)”.
Among other things, Nagaich’s parents have pointed out that the nature of injuries found on the body couldn’t have been a result of a suicide. Relying on witness accounts of labourers around the place where the body was found, and the state of the body, they have also contended that the body was moved after the incident and left near the tracks.
In her plea, the mother points out that the FIR in the case was not registered until 10 months after the incident and that after almost three years, no charge sheet has been filed yet.
She also alleges that the police has ignored several credible witnesses, and submits, “Such selective processing of a statement of a witness is not only prejudicial but also reeks of malafide, that the investigation agency is trying to protect the local villagers.”
She also contends that the investigating officers have missed out on crucial evidence as well, showing “complete apathy, and lack of professionalism”.
Nagaich’s father had also approached the Rajasthan High Court last year. The high court, however, disposed of the petition in February this year, directing the Investigating Officer to “thoroughly investigate the case”.
The plea by Nagaich’s mother in the Supreme Court contends that the HC has “indirectly condoned the callous manner in which the investigation was being conducted”.
She, therefore, demands that the probe be handed over to the CBI, asserting that she “has suffered irreparable loss owing to the death of her son and despite collecting all the material evidence within her capacity and extending help to the respondents to ensure a threadbare and detailed investigation, the Petitioner has been denied of fair and impartial investigation”.