The Delhi High Court Monday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a closure report in the missing case of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed, who mysteriously disappeared in October in 2016. The Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel allowed the Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees to move the trial court for a status report and to raise grievances before it when the report is being filed.
The court’s directive comes a month after the investigative agency informed the bench about its decision to close the case under section 169 (release of accused when evidence is deficient) of the CrPC.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Nafees said, “It has been two years. I had high hopes from the court but we didn’t move even an inch. The security agencies have misguided the court. We will now go to the Supreme Court. All that is happening since the last two years is being done under the pressure by those sitting in power.”
Here’s a look at the timeline of events of the case:
October 15, 2016: Najeeb Ahmed (27), a first-year M.Sc. student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University School of Biotechnology, mysteriously goes missing on October 15, 2016, a day after he had an alleged scuffle with some students from ABVP. Najeeb’s family and friends allege the role of ABVP activists behind Najeeb’s disappearance but the organisation denies any role in the matter.
Delhi Police register an FIR under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person). An award of Rs 50,000 is announced for any information relating to Najeeb and his disappearance. Nine people are identified as suspects in the case.
November 25, 2016: Najeeb’s mother moves the Delhi High Court, seeking directions to the police to trace her son. Moreover, Najeeb’s family allege that the police was showing laxity in investigating the suspects, allegedly from ABVP. Massive protests erupt outside the V-C office in JNU. JNUSU and JNUTA blame the V-C for not acting decisively in the matter.
May 16, 2017: The Delhi High Court passes the case to CBI after Delhi Police fails to find any clue about Najeeb.
October 16, 2017: The high court pulls up the CBI for showing laxity in tracing Najeeb Ahmed. The court says the central agency is not showing the intent to find the missing student.
December 2017: Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees alleges that the CBI is not probing the alleged role of the police in influencing the witnesses. She also says that the CBI is not probing the nine alleged suspects in the case as they should be.
February 2017: The Delhi High Court directs a forensic laboratory in Chandigarh to examine the mobile phones of nine accused students. The court expresses concern over the delay in the forensic analysis of the seized phones and asks the laboratory to submit its report by March 19.
May 11, 2018: CBI tells court that it has not found any evidence that there was any crime committed against Najeeb. CBI presents the argument based on the findings by the forensic agency which searched the mobile phones of the nine suspects in the case. The central agency says that they did not find anything closely related to the matter.
September 4, 2018: CBI tells the Delhi High Court that it has decided to file a closure report in the Najeeb case. The agency states that it has probed all the angles and there is nothing left to investigate further.
October 10, 2018: Delhi High Court asks CBI to file a closure report in the case.