SC directs for fresh investigation, sets aside closure report of Rajasthan Police
Today, the Supreme Court heard an order seeking the transfer of police from the State Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the mysterious death of third-year student Vikrant Nagaich at National Law University, Jodhpur in August 2017.
A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Justice Naveen Sinha and Justice Indira Banerjee has dismissed the closure report filed by the Rajasthan Police.
In fact, on 8 September, the bench heard the case and reserved order in it. The bench had also pulled up the state of Rajasthan for attempting to close the case by filing a final report.
In the hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the Rajasthan Police to complete its investigation in two months. A bench of Justice RF Nariman had said that the state police should complete the investigation in the matter within two months.
On August 14, 2017, Nagaich was found dead, before going out to dinner with his friends, in unnatural conditions near railway tracks in front of the university. The petition filed by the deceased student’s mother, Neetu Kumar Nagaich, stated that the university was reluctant to inform the deceased’s parents, until a group of friends of the deceased forced them to do so. In addition, statements were apparently made to the media, indicating that the deceased committed suicide because he was suffering from depression. Further, no efforts were made by the police to apprehend the suspects. In 2019, the petitioner-mother approached the Rajasthan High Court seeking the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT). However, in February of this year, the petition was disposed of under the direction that the investigating officer could conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
On 8 June, a bench of Justice RF Nariman, Justice Naveen Sinha and Justice BR Gavai issued notice to the police seeking a transfer of investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court had said that they first have to first hear the state police to find out why the state police did not make any progress in their investigation over the death of the student over a period of 3 years.
Lawyer Sunil Fernandes on behalf of the petitioner stated that not only did the state investigative agencies fail to register an FIR for the incident for a period of 10 months, but it was ultimately done only with remorse after the untiring efforts of the victim’s parents. The pleas also alleged that despite the passage of 3 years, no charge sheet has been filed and “the investigation is in a stable condition with no attempt to apprehend the culprits.
By Priya Kumari