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An application in the court of Delhi High Court Justice Rajiv Shakdher was withdrawn on Wednesday (April 4), because petitioner Mehmood Pracha, a Supreme Court lawyer, failed to establish it as a Public Interest Litigation and instead accepted it as a private interest case for which he has to file a fresh petition.

The case, filed against the Union of India sought a detailed investigation into the lapses on the part of the Centre leading to the death of 39 Indian captives held by the ISIS.

The plea comes in a pending petition filed by advocate Pracha, who was among the six-member delegation of Indian Muslim leaders and civil society activists to Iraq with the objective of securing the return of the Indians held captive by ISIS.

Justice Sakdher took the application and Pracha said that the government was “extremely afraid to bring out the facts”.

He said that there was one person, Waseem, of the 40 held, who escaped and was harshly treated by the government in Iran.

He claimed that the Indian government is now saying that the coffins will not be opened. He insisted that it was an urgent need to find out the timing of deaths.

The bench asked: “How it is connected to your story? It has nothing to do with your case. According to you, who conducts the inquiry?”

The petitioner said the CBI.

The counsel for the government said that there was no ground in this application.

To which the judge said: “I am being very frank. Let’s not expand the scope of your petition.”

The counsel for the government said: “It is private interest not public interest.”

At that the bench said: “When the main matter will come we will see. If you want to examine this please file a fresh petition.”

The petitioner insisted that it was a serious national interest matter.

The bench ordered that the petitioner has to withdraw the petition but has the liberty to file a fresh petition before the appropriate bench.

–         India Legal Bureau

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