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2017 death of NLU Jodhpur student: Supreme Court issues notice in plea seeking transfer of probe from Rajasthan Police to CBI

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea seeking the transfer of the investigation in a case concerning the 2017 death of a student of National Law University, Jodhpur from the state police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) [Neetu Kumar Nagaich vs State of Rajasthan and Ors].

The Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, Navin Sinha, and BR Gavai issued notice in the plea filed by the mother of the deceased student.

The Court, while fixing the matter to be heard in July, said that it would hear the State of Rajasthan first to know why the investigation had not progressed in three years, since the student's death in 2017.

In her plea filed before the Supreme Court, the petitioner says that she is constrained to move the Apex Court seeking an independent inquiry on account of an "inescapable reasonable apprehension that the lackadaisical and negligent investigation and prosecution of the instant FIR is a result of probable collusion to shield some high, mighty and influential person (s)."

It is claimed that the FIR in the case was not registered for a period of 10 months from the date when the incident occurred, and was reluctantly filed thereafter. Three years since, the investigation is at a standstill with no progress and no chargesheet filed in the case.

The petitioner alleges that there have been no efforts made by the police to apprehend the offenders. It delves into the aspects of the investigation that the police are yet to explore.

In 2019, the Rajasthan High Court, on being approached by the petitioner, directed the constitution of a Special Investigation team (SIT) to probe the matter.

However, in February this year, the petition before the High Court was disposed of, with the Court recording the submissions made by the investigating agency. The plea states,

"The Hon'ble High Court has indirectly condoned the callous manner in which the investigation was being conducted, and merely directed the Investigating Officer to thoroughly investigate, collect any other evidence which might possibly be available for solving the alleged crime, and file the result of investigation in the court concerned."

The petitioner has thus asked for a transfer of the case to the CBI, contending that the present case fulfils the criteria laid down by the Supreme Court in its judgments as to when a case becomes fit to be transferred to CBI.

Vikrant Nagaich, a third-year law student of NLU, Jodhpur, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in August 2017.

Nagaich had reportedly gone out with this friends to an establishment near the campus on Sunday evening. While his friends returned to the campus, he told them that he would come later. When he was contacted later in the night, he assured his friends that he would come back soon. His body was discovered the next morning.

The petitioner was represented by Advocate Sunil Fernandes and the petition is filed through Advocate Astha Sharma.

Read Petition:

NEETU KUMAR NAGAICH VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN & ORS. WP NO. 141 OF 2020 (2).pdf
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Read Order:

Neetu Kumar Nagaich vs State of Rajasthan - 08-June-2020.pdf
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