A court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class says the agency did not follow the High Court’s guidelines

A First Class Judicial Magistrate Court on Thursday rejected the second closure report of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the death of seven-year-old Yogita Thakre, whose body was found in a car parked in the compound of the former BJP president, Nitin Gadkari’s residence here in May 2009.

Yogita’s parents had alleged that she was sexually assaulted and murdered, but the CID in its investigation concluded it was a case of accidental death and that she suffocated in a closed car.

The CID was ordered to probe the case by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court in March 2010. The agency took over the case on May 7, 2010. Judicial Magistrate Nilima Patil rejected the summary report (that said the case should be closed as no offence was made out), and observed that the High Court’s guidelines were not followed — she noted that in the name of reinvestigation the agency only recorded the statements and did not conduct investigations as per the High Court order — and giving the case back to police would be a waste of time. This is the second time that she rejected the CID’s closure report.

Ms. Patil ordered the protest petition, filed by Yogita’s father Ashok Thakre who alleged that the CID was suppressing the real facts of the case, be treated as a private criminal complaint and registered as miscellaneous criminal case. She also directed Mr. Thakre to examine all his witnesses.

Reacting to the order, trade unionist Jammu Anand said: “The development has kept the case alive. Some people were saying that the case was finished. But it is a victory for the [Thakre] family and the activists and all others who were fighting for justice to Yogita.”

He asked if an agency could not investigate the case how could an individual? But, the order had opened up the doors for fresh attempts to approach higher courts demanding a CBI probe.

“We have not decided when to approach the higher court. But the vital question is why the CID was not able to conduct a proper inquiry.”