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15 Years on, SC Reopens Probe Into Murder of Four Members of UP Family

Notably, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), to be headed by former CBI special director ML Sharma, will probe the murders after the CBI shut it in 2014 under the Court order.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:February 9, 2018, 10:28 AM IST
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15 Years on, SC Reopens Probe Into Murder of Four Members of UP Family
In 2001, the bodies of Seema Garg (30) her children, Bhavya (4) and Pratyakshya (8 months), were found in their house in Pilakhua, then a part of Ghaziabad (Representative image)
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New Delhi: Fifteen years after four members of a family, including an infant, were killed mysteriously in two separate incidents, the Supreme Court has reopened the investigation to nab the real culprits.

Notably, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), to be headed by former CBI special director ML Sharma, will probe the murders after the CBI shut it in 2014 under the Court order.

Sharma is also heading another SIT, ordered by the apex court to enquire alleged complicity of former CBI director Ranjit Sinha with Coal block allocation scam accused.

“It is evident that the real culprits responsible for murder of petitioners’ family have not been subjected to trial. It is clear that the investigating agency showed lackadaisical approach in carrying/proceeding with the investigation,” noted a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and SA Nazeer while allowing the petition by mother of deceased Nitin Garg.

In 2001, the bodies of Seema Garg (30) her children, Bhavya (4) and Pratyakshya (8 months), were found in their house in Pilakhua, then a part of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Seema’s husband Nitin Garg, along with two others, was initially charged with the murder. But he was subsequently acquitted, only to be shot the next year.

The family moved the top court in 2005 and a CBI investigation was directed in October 2013. But in a strange move, the family sought to take back its case, and the Court accordingly withdrew its order of CBI probe in September 2014.

Helped by advocate Prashant Bhushan, Nitin's mother Sunita Devi and brother Ajay Garg, filed a writ petition yet again in the Supreme Court and sought to point out the circumstances in which the family was compelled to withdraw the case earlier.

Assisted by advocate Govind Jee, Bhushan submitted that the CBI investigating officer was hand in glove with the accused persons and that there was a recorded audio conversation too which would prove how the CBI team never intended to apprehend the culprits.

The Court was told that in the view of constant threats to life as well, the family was left with no alternative but to withdraw the case.

The bench accepted that there had been no fair and complete investigation into the case and thus, the matter warranted an intervention.

"We are of the view that it is necessary to have a fair, honest and complete investigation," held the Court.

It asked the SIT to proceed and submit its report in the Court within three months.

"Needless to say that appropriate secretarial assistance and logistic support shall be made available to the SIT by the Government of Uttar Pradesh," further directed the bench.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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