Najeeb Ahmed case: High Court orders polygraph test of suspects after JNU student remains missing

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Friday said it has asked the police to explore other avenues of probe, like a polygraph test of persons connected with missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, as all other leads have not yielded any result.

Representational image. CNN News 18.

Representational image. CNN News 18.

"The student had gone missing in October (2016), it is February now. Nearly four months have gone by and none of the leads are going anywhere. We asked for polygraph test as the other leads have not yielded any results," a bench of justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

The bench was hearing an application by one of the nine students, who are suspects in the case, seeking recall of the high court's 14 December and 22 December, 2016 orders. According to the application, by these two orders the court was regulating the manner of investigation and therefore, prejudiced the probe and violated their rights under Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution.

The student has also challenged a notice issued to him by Delhi Police to appear before the trial court today to give consent for lie-detector test. Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra opposed the application, saying the same student has moved a similar plea through another lawyer earlier and the high court had on 23 January disposed it of by asking the student to come forward.

Mehra said the present application was a "gross abuse of the process of court" and added that by moving such pleas "police was being forced to venture into areas where it had been abstaining from doing so till now". He said students should "behave as students" and they are "not above the law".

The lawyer for the student said he was aggrieved by the language used in the notice sent by police which appeared to be over-reacting. The bench told the lawyer that if the student does not want to undergo lie detector test, he can refuse to do so. But in the instant case "the students should assist the police by coming forward voluntarily and joining the probe", it said.

The bench said that the police had not taken the suspected students to the police station for months after Najeeb went missing, which is not usually the case, and added "so can we accuse them of over-reacting or under-reacting?" "If the roommate of the missing student has been asked to undergo a lie-detector test, then logically why not those students with whom he (Najeeb) had a scuffle and quarrel," it asked.

"We are not saying that just because they had a scuffle with him, they have done anything to him. Why should they feel cornered? You can go today. If you want to say yes, say yes. "If you want to say no, say no. Don't be apprehensive. Law is open for you. Don't be over-sensitive," the bench said and listed the matter for hearing on 13 February.

It also said that the court was not monitoring the investigation as was being apprehended by the student and it was only giving suggestions to trace out Najeeb. 27-year-old Najeeb has been missing since 15 October last year after a scuffle at his JNU hostel allegedly with ABVP
student activists the previous night.

The RSS students' wing has denied any involvement in his disappearance. After the incident, Najeeb's mother had moved the high court with a habeas corpus plea seeking direction to the authorities to trace and produce her son.

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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2017 14:45:33 IST

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