Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court today rapped the Central Bureau of Investigation over the tardy pace of probe into the sensational Kothkai rape-murder case, and summoned the CBI chief to appear before it on April 18.
The court also asked the investigation agency to file a fresh affidavit in the case.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma said, To our utter dismay, we find the instant progress report with regard to the investigation of the crime to be unsatisfactory. Perhaps the investigating agency is clueless with regard to the persons involved in the heinous crime”.
The bench rejected the plea of CBI counsel that the presence of its director was not required.
The high court observed that the state government has fully co-operated with the investigation agency.
It (state) has provided accommodation, vehicles and all facilities as sought for from time to time. Despite all this, we find that no fruitful result has yielded.
Under these circumstances, Director, CBI shall personally remain present in court on the next date of hearing, after which we shall consider the request for extension of time, it said.
The infamous case pertains to the gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Kotkhai area of Shimla district in July, 2017. The state government had sought court intervention to handover the case to the CBI after a huge public outcry over the incident.
However, before the case was handed over to the CBI, one of the six accused arrested in the case, died inside Kotkhai police station.
The high court, thereafter, handed over the investigation of the case and the custodial death of the accused to CBI.
The CBI has so far arrested nine police personnel, including an Inspector General of Police who was heading the state investigation team, in the case. Eight of them were arrested on August 29 last year, while former Shimla SP, D W Negi was arrested on November 16.
The agency has filed a charge-sheet against the nine men, but has failed to crack the case yet.