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SC orders fresh probe into 2017 NLU students death

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday chastised the Rajasthan police for remaining clueless for three years through a

lethargic probe

into the cause of murder of a 21-year-old student of National Law School, Jodhpur, in 2017 and ordered a fresh probe into the case with a two

month deadline

for its completion.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and

Navin Sinha

, while allowing the appeal filed by the student’s mother Neetu Kumar Nagaich, “the investigation remained inconclusive for nearly three long years with the investigating agency sanguine of passing it off as an accidental death without coming to a firm conclusion avoiding to complete the investigation.”

Referring to counsel Sinul Fernandes’s arguments about the disinterested and lethargic investigation carried out by the state police, the bench said, ” It is only when we on July 8 ordered that the investigation be concluded within a period of two months and the final report be placed before us, that suddenly a very lengthy investigation closure report has been filed before us taking a stand that though the death was homicidal there was no clue.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Sinha said, “The closure report is therefore, to our mind, a clear hasty action leaving much to be desired regarding the nature of investigation, because if a detailed investigation had already been done as is sought to be now suggested, there is no reason why a final report could not have been filed by the investigating agency in the normal course of events and needed an order to do so from this Court.”

“The entire investigation and the closure report therefore lack bonafide. The interest of justice therefore requires a de novo investigation to be done, to sustain the confidence of the society in the rule of law irrespective of who the actors may be. We, therefore, set aside the closure report and direct a de novo investigation by a fresh team of investigators to be headed by a senior police officer of the State consisting of efficient personnel well conversant with use of modern investigation technology also,” the bench said.

It said that no officer, who was part of the earlier investigating team leading to the closure report, would be part of the team that would be constituted to conduct fresh investigations. “Much time has passed and there is undoubtedly an urgency in the matter now. We therefore direct that such fresh investigation must be concluded within a maximum period of two months from today and the police report be filed before the court concerned whereafter the matter shall proceed in accordance with law,” the SC said.

The petitioner had filed the appeal through advocate

Astha Sharma

saying that her son Vikrant went for dinner outside the hostel on August 13, 2017 and his body was discovered near a nearby railway track the next morning. She blamed the police and the NLU of attempting to hush up the suspected foul play in the death by terming it as a suicide or an accident. An FIR could be registered after more than 10 months of the incident on June 27, 2018 only because they repeatedly represented the authorities alleging foul play.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

PM Modi speaks to Japan’s Yoshihide Suga

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga and said they agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situation.

“Had a very good conversation with PM Suga Yoshihide. We exchanged views on the tremendous progress in our relationship in the last few years, and the future direction of our Special Strategic and Global Partnership. @sugawitter,” Modi tweeted on Friday.

We agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situatio… https://t.co/9PJijcN4jA

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1601034901000

He added, “We agreed that stronger India-Japan ties would help meet the challenges of the current regional and global situation. I look forward to working with PM Suga to further strengthen our all-round partnership.”

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INDIA

Opposition members boycotted last day of session due to some political compulsions: Om Birla

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NEW DELHI: Opposition members boycotted the last day of the Monsoon Session due to some “political compulsions,” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday, noting that they conveyed they have no issues with him.

Birla said he called the floor leaders of all opposition parties for a meeting over a cup of tea and requested them to attend the valedictory proceedings of the house.

“The opposition leaders boycotted the last day of the session due to some political compulsions, while they conveyed to me that they had no issues with me,” the speaker said.

Birla was addressing a press conference here on the conclusion of the Monsoon Session.

Underlining that the productivity of the Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 per cent, he said that despite the threat of Covid-19, the average attendance of MPs in the Lower House, during this session, was more than 300 which sends a very positive message and strengthens peoples’ faith in democratic institutions.

He credited the cooperation from all political parties for higher productivity of the Lower House.

“The Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the session due to Covid-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity,” Birla said.

Describing unruly scenes on the last day of the Rajya Sabha as “unfortunate,” Birla said he doesn’t want to comment on the proceedings of the other House and efforts should be made to further strengthen the democratic institutions.

On the issue of the Question Hour, Birla said that members were given ample opportunities to raise matters concerning peoples’ welfare through written questions and the Zero Hour.

Highlighting the enhanced participation of members during the Zero Hour, Birla said it shows that they were given enough opportunities to express their views and were encouraged to participate in the discussions.

Talking about curtailment of the session, Birla said the decision was taken with a consensus in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which started on September 14, concluded on September 23, eight days before the scheduled end on October 1.

When asked about new Parliament building, Birla informed that the construction work has started and it will be completed within 21 months.

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DNA samples of 3 men killed in Shopian encounter match with families from Rajouri: J&K Police

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SRINAGAR: The DNA samples of three men who were killed in an alleged fake encounter with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district in July have matched with their families from Rajouri, a senior police officer said on Friday.

Asked whether the three men were indeed labourers, as claimed by their families, and not involved in terrorist activities, he said it is a matter of further investigation.

On July 18, the Army had claimed three terrorists were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir’s Shopian. It initiated an inquiry after social media reports indicated that the three men were from Rajouri and had gone missing in Amshipura.

The families of the three men claimed they worked as labourers in Shopian and lodged a police complaint.

The police also launched an investigation and collected the DNA samples of the three families from Rajouri to match with the slain men.

“The DNA report has come and matching has taken place,” inspector general of police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters here.

Asked if he meant that the DNA samples of the three men have matched with the families from Rajouri, he said, “There is positive matching with the families from Rajouri.”

On whether it had been established that the three men were labourers and not involved in any militant activities, Kumar said, “The police are now taking up further investigations in the case.”

The Army completed its inquiry into the matter in a record four weeks.

On September 18, the force said it had found “prima facie” evidence that its troops “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the encounter and has initiated disciplinary proceedings.

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