New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay a CBI probe into the murder of a Muslim youth of Uttar Pradesh allegedly by activists of a cow protection group while he was transporting a buffalo.
While refusing to stay the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, the apex court vacation bench comprising Justice Abhay Mahohar Sapre and Justice Asok Bhushan, however, stayed the order for transfer of four officials of Shahbad the district magistrate, superintendent of police, Deputy Superintendent of police and Station House Officer of Shahbad police station “to a far-off place at inconsequential posting”.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the murder of Mustain, a resident of Saharanpur, on the intervening night of March 5 and 6 while he was transporting a buffalo from Shahbad in Kurukshetra to Saharanpur. Mustain’s body was found about a month later on April 2 from a drain in Haryana.
The high court had ordered that the four officials be transferred to far off places with inconsequential postings so that they were not able to influence the investigation into the murder by saffron vigilante group Gau Raksha Dal.
“Whether investigation into a crime is conducted by A agency or B agency we are not going into that part of the order,” Justice Sapre said as the apex court stayed the high court order directing the transfer of the four officials.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Haryana government told the court that Tahir Hassan, father of deceased Mustain, too had not made any prayer for transferring of investigation to the CBI.
The court was unmoved as ASG Mehta said that the high court shifted the probe to CBI without examining whether a probe by Haryana police suffered from lacunae or whether it was right or wrong.
The court did not pass any order on repeated pleas by ASG Mehta that the state police be allowed to file their report on the investigation, and if the apex court was satisfied then it can hand over the investigation to CBI.
“No if you want, you can do it. You can file it. There is no need for an order,” the vacation bench said declining the plea by ASG Mehta.
Ordering the transfer of the four officials of Shahbad, Justice Fateh Deep Singh of the high court had said that they should be transferred to a “far-off place at inconsequential posting within 15 days of this order and ensure that they are not given postings where they could wield influence in the investigations and intimidate the witnesses and shall not be posted in this area till the conclusion of the trial.”