Najeeb case: High Court pulls up forensic lab for laxity

Examine phones of nine suspects by April 30 or come to court, lab director told

April 03, 2018 01:32 am | Updated 08:55 am IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 13/10/2017: JNU students during a massive protest outside the CBI headquarter on missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed issue, in New Delhi on Friday. 
Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

NEW DELHI, 13/10/2017: JNU students during a massive protest outside the CBI headquarter on missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed issue, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed dissatisfaction at a forensic laboratory in Chandigarh for its “laxity” in dealing with the examination of mobile phones of nine students who are suspects in the case of disappearance of Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed.

A Bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta made it clear that in case the process is not completed by April 30, the director of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh, has to be present before it.

The court’s remark came after the CBI’s counsel said that out of nine mobile phones, the laboratory has sent forensic analysis report of only three, which was also done by a junior officer who was not qualified enough.

Expresses concern

“The court expresses grave concern that a matter of considerable seriousness has not received the attention it deserved from the CFSL. The mobile phones were sent to the CFSL on November 14, 2017. Till date, the examination is nowhere complete,” the Bench said.

The Bench said if the laboratory failed to do so, its director shall be personally present before the court on May 8 to explain his conduct.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Mr. Ahmed’s mother Fatima Nafees seeking directions to the police to trace her son .

During the hearing, advocate Nikhil Goel, appearing for the CBI, filed a status report before the court in a sealed cover and sought time to complete the investigation.

Data scan

He said the agency have received the forensic analysis report of three mobiles phones and have been scanning the data and so far there seemed no connection between the allegations made by Mr. Ahmed’s mother against the nine students.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Nafees, said the probe agency has not taken into custody the suspects who had threatened Mr. Ahmed a day before he disappeared and sought a court-monitored probe.

Mr. Ahmed had gone missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on October 15, 2016 following a scuffle with some other students, allegedly affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the previous night.

As the Delhi Police remained clueless about his whereabouts even after seven months since he went missing, the High Court had on May 16 last year handed over to the CBI the investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Ahmed, a student of MSc Biotechnology. His mother had moved the High Court on November 25, 2017, seeking directions to the police to trace her son.

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