The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday told the Punjab government to file a detailed reply as to why the state police could not successfully carry out investigations in Malerkotla boy Vidhu Jain’s murder case.
The bench of justice Jitendra Chauhan pulled up the state government and observed that there was nothing on record to suggest the factors or the deficiencies with the state as to why the investigation could not be carried out successfully.
“The state cannot be allowed to wash their hands of the responsibility entrusted to them as per law,” justice Chauhan said while asking the state government to file a reply before the court by November 29, the next date of hearing. The court also ordered the Sangrur SSP to be present in the court on the next date of hearing.
On September 30 last year, 11-year-old Vidhu, son of a toy shop owner, was burnt alive on a market street in Malerkotla. His family has accused politicians, bureaucrats and the police of lying for a year that they had moved the case to the CBI.
The Punjab government had recommended a CBI inquiry in January. But the request was not accepted as the CBI said the matter did not have any inter-state or transnational ramifications.
However, the CBI counsel, during the hearing, submitted that they were prepared to investigate the case in case the court directed them to, but suggested that a special investigation team (SIT) be formed to probe it.
The petitioner’s counsel also produced a letter of September 2014 in the court, sent from the office of union minister of home affairs (state) to the Punjab director general of police to look into the matter on “priority”, alleging that despite the Centre’s direction the police did not act.