Efforts to secure justice for Outlook cartoonist Irfan Hussein's murder received a major boost with the Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordering day-to-day hearing of the petition filed by his 79-year-old father seeking a CBI probe into the nine-year-old murder case.
The hearing will begin on September 23. The court has already gathered the records pertaining to the murder from the city court that acquitted the five men accused of the crime on February 28, 2006. According to the prosecution, Irfan was abducted by highway carjackers on March 8, 1999, while he was driving home from the Press Club. His decomposed body was found five days later in a bush on National Highway 8 near Ghazipur in East Delhi.
Irfan's father Mansoor Bhai's lawsuit suffered the biggest blow when Mukta Gupta of Standing Counsel for the Police said it was entirely based on circumstantial evidence and that it would not stand the test in the High Court because neither the chain of events was complete nor the key witnesses, who turned hostile in the court, supported it.
"Persons charged with the offence had nothing to do with the case and were framed to shield the guilty. My son is a victim of a political conspiracy, and the police are under pressure to save the accused," said the petition that was filed through lawyer A J Bhambani. Bhai argued that his son was killed by some youth who were angry over his sarcastic cartoon on Shiv Sena Chief, Bal Thackeray.
Citing an SC observation in the famous Sasi Thomas murder case, Bhambani told the court, "When manipulated red herrings are brought before the court and the agency is hand in glove with the accused parading a mock fight and makes a mockery of the criminal justice system, not only the Supreme Court or High Court but the lower court also can make efforts to get to the bottom of the truth".