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SC orders fresh probe into mysterious death of NLU student- Read Judgment

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today ordered that a fresh investigation has to be initiated into the mysterious death of a student of the National Law University, Jodhpur. The student, Vikrant Nagaich, was found dead on August 14, 2017.

A three-judge Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee issued the direction while hearing the plea seeking transfer of the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), or to a Special Investigation Team monitored by the court. The court has also set aside the closure report filed by Rajasthan Police about progress made in the investigation. 

The Supreme Court noted in its order-

…the investigation remained inconclusive for nearly three long years with the investigating agency sanguine of passing it off as an accidental death without coming to a firm conclusion avoiding to complete the investigation. It is only when we ordered on 08.07.2020 that the investigation be concluded within a period of two months and the final report be placed before us, that suddenly a very lengthy investigation closure report has been filed before us taking a stand that though the death was homicidal there was no clue.

...The entire investigation and the closure report therefore lack bonafide. The interest of justice therefore requires a de novo investigation to be done, to sustain the confidence of the society in the rule of law irrespective of who the actors may be.

“We, therefore, set aside the closure report and direct a de novo investigation by a fresh team of investigators to be headed by a senior police officer of the State consisting of efficient personnel well conversant with use of modern investigation technology also,”

Said the Court.

The Supreme Court had, on September 8, reserved its order in the case, but had indicated that a fresh probe should be ordered. This was two months after it directed Rajasthan Police to complete its investigation. The apex court had also criticised the state police for not finishing the probe even after the Rajasthan High Court’s order in February 2020. 

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Nagaich, third- year law student from National Law University, Jodhpur, was found dead on August 14, 2017 on the railway tracks near the University. It was reported that he had gone out with his friends on Sunday evening but hadn’t returned with them. He had assured his friends later that night that he would be back to the University but his body was discovered the next morning.

Read the judgment here;


-India Legal Bureau

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