CDR not relevant to the investigation: CBI denies documents to missing scholar’s mother Fatima Nafees despite Delhi Court order

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has refused to hand over the Call Data Records (CDR) of missing JNU scholar Najeeb Ahmed to his mother and rights defender Fatima Nafees. Nafees was seeking to challenge the closure report of the investigation into her son’s disappearance. The CBI claimed that Najeeb’s CDR was not relevant, and the documents relied upon for the investigation are available only to the accused and not to the victim.


On April 23, a Delhi court ruled that Fatima Nafis is not only entitled to file a protest petition against the closure report in the investigation into her son Najeeb’s disappearance, but also to copies of the report, all related documents as well as statements of witnesses.

The court directed the CBI to submit all this to the complainant in two weeks. Additionally the investigating officer has been directed to be present at the next hearing.

The order passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate said, “The law is settled that in case of closure/cancellation report, complainant is to be given opportunity to file protest petition, if so desired by the complainant.”

The order also stated, “Further, there cannot be a half-hearted approach. In fact an effective opportunity be given to the complainant to file protest petition. As such, whole of the cancellation report along with the statement of witnesses and documents which are part and parcel of the present cancellation report, have to be supplied to the complainant side.”

The court had allowed the CBI to provide soft copies of the documents on a pen drive or CD. The entire order may be read here.

In passing the order the court had  relied on the Supreme Court’s observations in the Jakia Nasim Ahesan vs State of Gujarat. In that order the SC said, “that if for any stated reason the SIT opines in its report, to be submitted in terms of this order, that there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable grounds for proceeding against any person named in the complaint, dated 8th June 2006, before taking a final decision on such ‘closure’ report, the Court shall issue notice to the complainant and make available to her copies of the statements of the witnesses, other related documents and the investigation report strictly in accordance with law as enunciated by this Court in Bhagwant Singh Vs. Commissioner of Police& Anr.2. For the sake of ready reference, we may note that in the said decision, it has been held that in a case where the Magistrate to whom a report is forwarded under Section 173(2)(i) of the Code, decides not to take cognizance of the offence and to drop the proceedings or takes a view that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against some of the persons mentioned in the FIR, the Magistrate must give notice to the informant and provide him an opportunity to be heard at the time of consideration of the report.”
Brief background of the case
Najeeb Ahmed, a first year MSc Biotechnology student in the JNU went missing on October 15, 2016 after the alleged attacks on him by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the ruling party. This had sparked students’ movements across the country. His mother Fatima Nafees has been tirelessly following up his case. On multiple occasions she has faced extreme police brutality despite peacefully demanding for her son to be found.

His case was initially investigated by the Vasant Kunj Police, and was subsequently passed on to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Delhi Police, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and then the CBI. But all these institutions failed to find his traces.

Activists pursuing his case along with Fatima Nafees have raised the questions, “How is it that in the case of a person’s disappearance, a premier investigating agency does not consider his phone records as important and relevant? How can the CBI deny such a crucial evidence to Fatima Nafees to challenge their closure report?”

They alleged, “The CBI is trying by all possible means to ensure that the truth behind Najeeb’s disappearance is never known! It’s been more than eight months, and Fatima Nafees does not have all the documents to file her protest petition. Now with the denial of Najeeb’s CDR, the needle of suspicion continues to point towards the CBI!”

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