The Delhi High Court on Tuesday transferred the case of missing student Najeeb Ahmad to the CBI after the crime branch of Delhi Police failed to trace the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student.
Najeeb, 27, a first year MSc student, had gone missing from the JNU hostel on the night of October 14-15 last year after an alleged row with members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
A bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Rekha Palli handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after Delhi Police said it had no objections if the court transferred the case to another probe agency.
“Delhi Police has no objection if the matter is probed by any other investigating agency... We refer the matter to the CBI with immediate effect for further investigations,” said the bench.
The bench directed that investigations in the case should be carried out by the CBI under the supervision of an officer not lower than the rank of DIG.
Last week, the high court had pulled up the Delhi Police’s crime branch over the manner of its probe into the disappearance of the JNU student, saying it was giving “an impresssion that investigation was not being done properly”.
The court had said that the conduct of the police showed it was trying to sensationalise the matter or looking for a way out.
Contrary to a newspaper reports, which claimed Ahmad had been looking for information on Islamic State (IS) before his dissapearance, the police status report did not show that “he (Ahmad) was accessing any fundamentalist website”, the court had remarked.
The court had said that police should have carried out an internal inquiry as to find out the officer who had leaked or planted that information.
The court had also pulled up the police for not questioning the nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance on Day One and taken them into custody.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi police, said the investigation was carried out in a fair manner, including a pan India search.
The court’s direction came while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Fatima Nafees, Ahmad’s mother, that her son be produced by police and the Delhi government before the court.
The ABVP has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
The nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance have neither given their consent nor refusal for a lie detector test in the case. The court had said that it can not force them to take the polygraph test but they themselves should come forward and give consent.
The court now posted the matter for July 17.