The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the CBI to probe the case of missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed, who has been untraced since he disappeared seven months ago after an alleged altercation with ABVP members.
Najeeb's brother, Mujeeb Ahmed, hoped the probe agency would be able to produce "concrete evidence" in the case before the next hearing on July 17.
A division bench of Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice Rekha Palli handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with immediate effect, after the Delhi Police said it has no objection if the court transfers the case to another probe agency.
The court's direction came while hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by Fatima Nafees, Najeeb Ahmed's mother, that her son be produced by police and the Delhi government before the court.
Najeeb, 27, a first year M.Sc. student, went missing from his JNU hostel on the night of October 14-15 last year, allegedly after a row with members of RSS' student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
The ABVP has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed that further investigation be carried out by the CBI under the supervision of an officer not lower than the rank of DIG.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Police, told the court that it has carried out the investigation in fair manner and made a pan India search for Najeeb, but he could not be traced.
"Delhi Police has no objection if the matter is probed by any other investigating agency… We refer the matter to CBI with immediate effect for further investigation," said the bench.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who appeared for the student's mother, had sought the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with officers from other states. He said the enquiry by Delhi Police was "politically motivated".
The counsel said that the nine suspected students, who assaulted and threatened Najeeb before he went missing, were given "VIP treatment" by the police and their custodial interrogation was not taken till date.
He said there have been delays at every level and various lapses in the probe of Delhi Police.
Earlier, the court had pulled up the police for not questioning the nine students on the first day and for not taking them into custody.
The nine students 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 posted the matter for July 17.
Najeeb's brother Mujeeb told IANS that they are "hoping that CBI may trace my brother Najeeb and get authentic results in its investigation".
"The CBI had solved many cases. We hope that this time within two months before the next hearing, the CBI will produce concrete evidences in connection with Najeeb. We will seek an appointment with CBI Chief Alok Kumar Verma to meet him within two weeks," he said.