Supreme Court defers hearing on plea seeking CBI probe into murder of five-year-old girl in Odisha village

Earlier, on 23rd July, the bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna deferred the hearing on this matter till August 17 and directed the counsel of the petitioners to examine if it will be appropriate to also challenge the order passed by the High Court.

The Supreme Court today has deferred its hearing till next Monday in a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged murder of a five-year-old girl at Jadupur village in Nayagarh district, Odisha. The petition has been filed by the victim’s mother. (Saudamini Sahoo Vs Central Bureau of Investigation)

Sr Adv Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the petitioner submitted that the parents who had to attempt self-immolation to get the Odisha government to take action must be heard. He submitted that the Court had directed filing of an SLP against the Orissa high court’s order so that the matter can be heard together. The matter was not tagged, the Court directed tagging of the matter and listed them together on Monday. 

In her writ petition, the mother of the victim requested the Apex Court to direct the CBI to probe the murder. 

Earlier, on 23rd July, the bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna deferred the hearing on this matter till August 17 and directed the counsel of the petitioners to examine if it will be appropriate to also challenge the order passed by the High Court.

Before the Hon’ble High Court, the allegation was that the investigation undertaken pursuant to FIR was faulty. The Hon’ble High Court was of the opinion that the grievance of the petitioner can be raised before the Magistrate undertaking the process. Therefore, it declined to entertain the writ petition involving the investigation, with the liberty to the petitioner to approach the concerned magistrate. 

On 23rd July, the Supreme Court had asked to challenge the order of the High Court via SLP primarily because the petition before it was filed by the mother and before the High Court it was by the father. The Court opined that there may be an issue of res judicata. Subsequently, the SLP was filed, and today it has been directed to be tagged with the present petition. 

The incident took place in Odisha’s Nayagarh in July 2020, where a 5-year-old girl was allegedly kidnaped, raped and killed. The mother had petitioned the Apex Court demanding that SIT investigation should investigate the aspect of organ trade. On being asked why the body was not traced using sniffer dogs, the SIT chief Arun Bothra stated that “The SIT hasn’t used dog squad. So I cannot comment on dog squad.” He added that “The towel, which Saroj used to clean blood stains after killing the 5-year-old girl, has been sent to a laboratory for testing. The accused had washed the towel several times but bloodstains were found. The towel and leggings are major evidence in the case.” Bothra had clarified that the bones of the deceased girl are not missing, but the mother of the victim alleged that the SIT head is making up stories to shield the real culprit.

The mother had sought a CBI inquiry in the matter. The issue is of a fair investigation by the independent authority, namely CBI. It was alleged by her that “The policemen have found 12 pieces of bones along with the skull. Our body has 206 bones; so, where are the other bones? The SIT is making stories just to save the actual criminal. Babul Nayak and his gang are involved in the crime,” she claimed that the deceased daughter’s remains had 75% of the bones missing.  Be it a case of rape or murder of the five-year-old, or a case of organ harvesting, it certainly is horrific and saddening. The parents of the girl were saved by the police personnel when they tried to self-immolate themselves as they were deeply concerned about the lackluster attitude of the government authorities.

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