24, Apr 2019 | CJP Team
On April 23, a Delhi court ruled that Fatima Nafis is not only entitled to file a protest petition against the closure report in the investigation into her son Najeeb’s disappearance, but also to copies of the report, all related documents as well as statements of witnesses.
The court has directed the CBI to submit all this to the complainant in two weeks. Additionally the investigating officer has been directed to be present at the next hearing.
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The order passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate says, “The law is settled that in case of closure/cancellation report, complainant is to be given opportunity to file protest petition, if so desired by the complainant.”
The order also states, “Further, there cannot be a half-hearted approach. In fact an effective opportunity be given to the complainant to file protest petition. As such, whole of the cancellation report along with the statement of witnesses and documents which are part and parcel of the present cancellation report, have to be supplied to the complainant side.”
The court has allowed the CBI to provide soft copies of the documents on a pen drive or CD. The entire order may be read here.
In passing the order the court relied on the Supreme Court’s observations in the Jakia Nasim Ahesan vs State of Gujarat. In that order the SC said, “that if for any stated reason the SIT opines in its report, to be submitted in terms of this order, that there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable grounds for proceeding against any person named in the complaint, dated 8th June 2006, before taking a final decision on such ‘closure’ report, the Court shall issue notice to the complainant and make available to her copies of the statements of the witnesses, other related documents and
the investigation report strictly in accordance with law as enunciated by this Court in Bhagwant Singh Vs. Commissioner of Police & Anr.2. For the sake of ready reference, we may note that in the said decision, it has been held that in a case where the Magistrate to whom a report is forwarded under Section 173(2)(i) of the Code, decides not to take cognizance of the offence and to drop the proceedings or takes a view that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against some of the persons mentioned in the FIR, the Magistrate must give notice to the informant and provide him an opportunity to be heard at the time of consideration of the report.”
Brief background of the case
Najeeb was a pursuing a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology from New Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was a sharp young man with what his mother hoped was a bright future. But one evening he ended up in a brawl with members of a student union affiliated with a prominent political party with an extreme right wing ideology. The very next day he went missing.
Najeeb’s friends suspected foul play and Fatima started demanding an explanation about what happened to her son. But nobody seemed to have any answers. The police couldn’t explain what happened. It was almost as if he vanished into thin air!
The case was then handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).