New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it was awaiting the forensic results of the mobile phones of nine JNU students which were seized in connection with its probe into the disappearance of the varsity's student Najeeb Ahmed last year.
The probe agency filed a status report in the court giving details of the steps they have taken in the matter which were not discussed in the open court.
"CBI has handed over a status report. It reflects further steps taken in the matter. The court does not think it appropriate to discuss the details of the investigation given in the status report in the open court," a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta said.
Najeeb (27), a student of M.Sc Biotechnology, had gone missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on October 15 last year following a scuffle with some other students, allegedly affiliated to the Sangh Parivar student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the previous night.
The agency, which refused to give a copy of the report to the counsel for Najeeb's mother citing the reasons of leakage of contents in the media, showed the details to the complainant's advocate for his perusal inside the court.
During the hearing, CBI's counsel Nikhil Goel said their investigation was continuing and they have seized the mobile phones of nine students suspected of being behind Najeeb's disappearance and sent them to the forensic science laboratory (FSL) which is yet to give its report.
Their call detail records were also being analysed, he said, adding that since the case was of a sensitive nature and if the details comes out in the media, it would be difficult for officials to extract information.
When the CBI's counsel urged the court to conduct in- chamber proceedings in the matter, the bench said it would consider it on the next date of hearing on December 21. The court considered it appropriate to wait for the FSL results.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Najeeb's mother, asked why the CBI was not taking anyone into custody to extract information and alleged that it was a political abduction by ABVP students due to which the probe agencies were acting slow.
To this, the bench said it was not supposed to supervise the probe at this stage but only to ensure that the probe was not hampered or influenced in any manner.
"We cannot put unnecessary pressure on the probe agency. We completely understand the anxiety and tension of the parents," the bench said.
The court was also informed that the CBI plea seeking the consent of the suspect students for a polygraph test was listed for hearing tomorrow before a trial court here.
The CBI had earlier faced flak from the high court for its "complete lack of interest" and not showing any result in its probe into the disappearance of Najeeb, five months after being handed over the investigation.
Over a month after Najeeb went missing, his mother had moved the High Court on November 25 last year, seeking directions to the police to trace her son.
The high court had immediately directed the Delhi Police to "explore all angles" and "cut across political barriers" to trace the young man, saying no one could just vanish from the heart of the national capital.
However, as the police remained clueless about Najeeb's whereabouts even after seven months since he went missing, the probe was handed over to CBI on May 16, 2017.
In August, when CBI failed to file a fresh progress report in the case, the high court had rebuked it, saying the probe was not transferred to the agency "for fun".
On September 6, the court again directed the CBI to take steps to trace Najeeb.