A special CBI court in Ghaziabad on Tuesday issued an order to re-open investigation into the death of Justin John Xavier, a first-year Aerospace Engineering student at Amity University, who drowned in the swimming pool on the college campus.
Rejecting the closure report filed by the CBI, Special CBI judge A K Singh allowed the protest petition filed by Justin’s family and ordered fresh investigation into the case.
Zubair Ahmed Khan, the counsel for Justin’s family, said the CBI investigation was unsatisfactory. “Justin John Xavier was gold medallist in swimming and played water polo regularly. He was above six feet in height and it is inconceivable that he drowned in a pool which was five-foot deep. Moreover, he is said to be have entered the swimming pool at
8 pm as per records, but his time of death is logged as 7.35 pm by police,” he said. Justin’s family in Kerala said he had told them about some seniors ragging him at the college. “This incident of ragging is present in the evidence, but was never looked at sufficiently,” Khan said.
Justin had allegedly drowned in the swimming pool on September 3, 2009. A day later, the Noida police had conducted the post-mortem examination that ruled his death as accidental drowning. It specified the cause of death as asphyxia and also noted injuries on his body.
Unsatisfied with the investigation, Justin’s father John Xavier filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court. Responding to the petition, Circle Inspector of Pattimattom had filed a statement in which he said Justin’s death was registered as ‘unnatural death’.
The Kerala Police CI said a “team of doctors led by Dr Sreekumari, police surgeon, Alappuzha Medical College, …found that the first autopsy performed at the government post-mortem centre, Noida, was not done properly. A detailed examination of the internal organs was not done.”
The Kerala High Court subsequently transferred the case to the CBI on September 17, 2010. “The second autopsy revealed contusions — on the back of his head and in the front. There were injuries on the back of his trunk as well,” John Xavier said.
The father said the CBI was set a deadline of eight months, which the investigating agency did not meet. This prompted John Xavier to file a contempt of court petition in the Kerala High Court. “Responding to this, the CBI filed the closure report in the Ghaziabad special court that rubbished the findings of the second autopsy and sought a third opinion,” John Xavier said.
He said at the time, the CBI had sought a third opinion from the Maulana Azad Medical College doctors and it rubbished the findings of the second autopsy before filing its closure report.
An Amity University spokesperson said, “We are not aware of the order. But we will abide by the court proceedings.”