A magistrate's court on Wednesday ordered the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to further investigate Yogita Thakre’s mysterious death and said no case was made out to close the case at this stage.
Seven -year - old Yogita was found dead in a car parked outside Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari’s house in the Mahal area on May 19, 2009. While her parents alleged that she was murdered and sexually assaulted, the CID in its investigation, ordered by the high court, concluded that it was a case of accidental death and she died in a closed car due to suffocation.
In her order, the magistrate, Ms Nilima K Patil quoted the reasons the high court had given while transferring the case to the CID. She said that after going through the records and the submission for closing the case, she noticed that the CID has only recorded the statements of witnesses and filed a ‘C’ summary report under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC) concluding that no offence was made out and the girl had died due to suffocation.
She said after going through the records it appears that despite further directions by the high court, the CID has done “mere recording of statements”. “It appears that no investigation was carried out keeping in mind the high court directions and it showed want of appreciation of the emergent need to get at the truth of the case,” she pointed out.
To throw light on the aspects considered by the high court , i. e. the reason for Yogita’s death , the difference of the car in which she was found and the reference to the car in the inquest panchnama, she said, “ I am of the opinion that further detailed investigation is necessary and hence no case is made out for C summary at this stage. She rejected the C summary report (to close the case as no offence is made out) and ordered further investigation in the case and directed that a copy of the order be sent to the CID for information of its investigating officer.
The CID report was submitted to the magistrate’s court last December and was contested by her parents. Initially the investigating officer at Kotwali police station had filed a case of murder and suppression of evidence but the CID report said it was filed due to pressure from higher officials and the media and also due to a misunderstanding.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court ordered a CID inquiry into Yogita’s death on March 5, 2010 after a criminal writ petition was filed by her parents, demanding a CBI probe. The case was handed to the CID on May 7, 2010. Along with the CID inquiry report the police had filed on December 8, 2010 a “C” summary report in the court of the judicial magistrate first class court number eight in Nagpur seeking closure of the case.
High court order
The high court while ordering a CID investigation took the following points into account.
The post mortem report said the cause of death was smothering and initially the investigation into Yogita’s death was carried on the premise that the death was homicidal. However, Dr. Sayara Merchant, Head of Unit of Paediatrics Department, Government Medical College, Nagpur said that Yogita’s death could not have occurred on account of suffocation in the car with doors locked. Thereafter, the prosecution sought a report from the two doctors who did her post mortem from the Government Medical College, Nagpur who opined that the death was not homicidal. Initially the investigation was carried out on the basis that the dead body of Yogita was found in a Honda CRV vehicle MH 31 DB 2727 and there is a reference to this effect in the inquest panchnama.
However, on the basis of the statements of several witnesses the investigating officer came to the prima facie finding that the dead body was found in Fiat Linea Car MH 31 CS 2727. The record also discloses that in the post mortem report, doctors noted injuries on the person of Yogita and blood stains on her clothes. Moreover, the guards present on the spot did not take any prompt action in the matter to report the matter to superior police officers, the court said.
In the background of the above facts, the court found that the apprehension expressed by the petitioners that the investigation was not being carried out fairly and properly was not without substance. Considering the fact that Yogita died on May 19, 2009 and not much headway was made by the investigating agency to come to a definite conclusion, the court said “we are of the considered opinion, that the apprehension expressed by the petitioner cannot be said to be baseless. All these aspects are required to be thoroughly investigated to find out whether death of Yogita was homicidal or accidental.”
Keywords: Yogita Thakre case