Decade-old murder case of play Gurgaon school director: HC seeks constitution of larger benchhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/decade-old-murder-case-of-play-gurgaon-school-director-hc-seeks-constitution-of-larger-bench-5677678/

Decade-old murder case of play Gurgaon school director: HC seeks constitution of larger bench

A single bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has referred the matter to the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench to decide on a legal question relating to the Haryana Police’s pending case against the husband before a Gurgaon Court.

Decade-old murder case of play Gurgaon school director: HC seeks constitution of larger bench
The order follows a criminal reference made by the Special CBI Court Panchkula to the HC in November last year for a decision.

Nearly a decade-old case involving the murder of Gurgaon-based Kid Zee Play School Director Nargis Juneja has landed in a deadlock, even after the CBI exonerated her husband Rakesh Juneja and a judicial magistrate accepted the closure report filed by the agency last year.

A single bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has referred the matter to the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench to decide on a legal question relating to the Haryana Police’s pending case against the husband before a Gurgaon Court.

“This matter has to be finally decided by the larger bench as in so many cases when the police challan is presented and the investigation is entrusted to CBI, then it is to be seen as to what to do with the FIR case and specially when the trial court has taken the cognizance and no order has been passed regarding the FIR case by the High Court while entrusting the investigation to CBI,” a single bench of the High Court said.

The order follows a criminal reference made by the Special CBI Court Panchkula to the HC in November last year for a decision. The Special CBI Court in the reference noted that it needs to be decided whether the Special Judicial Magistrate CBI while considering the closure report submitted by the CBI was competent enough to make observations regarding the merits of the challan filed by the local police before Gurgaon court in 2011, even though it was duty bound to consider it.

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The case dates back to December 2010, when Nargis Juneja was killed at her home. Her father Roshan Lal Kapoor had alleged that Rakesh Juneja was behind the murder who conspired with his alleged paramour Rosy Bhasin. The local police filed the chargesheet against Rakesh in June 2011 but Rosy continued to remain absconding till then.

In September 2011, she wrote to the Haryana DGP and a Special Investigation Team was formed in pursuance to her communication. The SIT filed an untraced report – exonerating both – before the court in December 2011, but the Sessions Court did not accept the discharge application of the accused Rakesh Juneja for his release from the case.

When the matter reached the High Court, it transferred the further probe to CBI in April 2012 and stayed the trial in the pending case of Haryana Police against him at the Gurgaon court. The CBI also failed to arrest any accused in the murder case and in 2016, the Special CBI Judicial Magistrate at Panchkula accepted the closure report while also rejecting the protest application of the victim’s father. Kapoor challenged the acceptance of the closure report and the matter again was sent by the higher court to the magistrate for a fresh decision.

The Special CBI Magistrate in January 2018 accepted the closure report again and regarding the chargesheet filed by Haryana Police observed that there was no substantive evidence against Rakesh Juneja in it. The acceptance of closure report was again challenged before the Special CBI Court during which the higher court took note of the observations made by the Judicial Magistrate.

The single bench of the High Court said, “Anomalous situation in this case stands arisen. The Special Judicial Magistrate CBI while considering the cancellation report as per law is to consider all the reports filed by the Police or by the CBI etc. The trial is pending before the learned Additional Sessions Judge and the learned Special Judicial Magistrate CBI is to consider that also as per law while considering the closure report filed by the CBI”.

The court added that a co-ordinate bench had passed the order for CBI probe and a revision petition related to the case is also pending before another co-ordinate bench, therefore, it added, the matter needs to be considered by a larger bench. Meanwhile, another single bench of the High Court in January directed the Special CBI Court to decided the revision against the closure report within three months after the answer to the criminal reference sent to the High Court is answered.