New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the police for remaining clueless about missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 55 days, asking how can a man just "vanish suddenly".
Maintaining that it was concerned with the recovery of the boy whose mother has been running from pillar to post to be united with her son, the Court said a situation, in which a missing person has not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among the people.
"It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police has no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date," a bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel said.
Najeeb went missing from JNU's Mahi-Mandvi hostel on 15 October allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance.
The bench said, "We are not concerned with the scuffle. We only want that the boy is recovered and he returns to his house. We are concerned that the mother should get her child."
The court's oral observation came after the police and the JNU informed it that Najeeb has remained untraceable till date and they were making all efforts to locate him.
The varsity and the police were responding to the habeus corpus plea filed by Najeeb's 45-year old mother Fatima Nafees who was also present in the court today. She has sought directions to the authorities to trace her 27-year-old son who was pursuing MSc in Biotechnology from JNU.
During the brief hearing, senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for the police, told the bench that the Crime Branch was exploring all angles to trace Najeeb and even issued advertisements. "We are diligent, We will do whatever is to be done at our level," Mehra said.
On the other hand, JNU's counsel Monika Arora submitted before that "since day one, the university is in regular contact with the Delhi police obtaining updates and providing relevant information to the police regarding the incident.
"It is also stated that university has carried out its own search operation in the hostel and the campus of the JNU. Moreover, the security guards alongwith police teams have been coordinating in search of Najeeb in the adjoining and adjacent forest areas of the JNU campus," Arora said, adding that "the university's Vice Chancellor has written to the senior police officials and SHO concerned to expedite the search of missing student Najeeb".
To this, the bench said, "this is something very serious. If a person disappears and remains untraced, it would create a sense of insecurity in the public of the city."
The bench asked the police to "explore all angles" and listed the matter for further hearing on 14 December .
Arora, in a status report, said soon after the incident, the hostel warden had called a meeting including Najeeb and other persons involved in the altercation.
"All persons involved in the altercation including Najeeb were called by the warden, some disciplinary measures were taken after Najeeb admitted his mistake for initiating the brawl/altercation with his fellow students. The said issue was resolved in presence of JNUSU President and other college staff and students," JNU submitted.
It also told the bench that the students involved in the scuffle on the fateful night have been identified and their immediate transfer from the hostel was recommended.
The counsel said the office of the Chief Proctor has acknowledged that there was a scuffle and submitted the Proctorial Board report on the incident at the hostel.
"After Najeeb is found, the disciplinary action awarded to these persons will be again looked into," the court was told.
On 28 November , the High Court had sternly asked the city police to "cut across all political barriers" and find Najeeb.
Updated Date: Dec 09, 2016 18:56:28 IST