Kolkata: In a significant order by the Calcutta High Court today, the division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmai Bhattacharyya upheld the order of a single bench which had declared the death of IIT Kharagpur student Faizan Ahmed, a ‘homicide’ and continued with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by Justice Rajasekhar Mantha.
Whereas, both state government and IIT Kharagpur had challenged the orders of the single bench. State side argued that there was no need for the formation of SIT as Justice Mantha had not made any adverse comment on the investigation of local police. IIT KGP, on other hand had appealed to quash the case, as according to them, there were so many deficiencies in the second postmortem. In verbal submission the lawyers also alleged that the case was lodged for extortion and Faizan did not die because of ragging.
The third year Mechanical engineering student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur 23-year-old Faizan Ahmed’s partially decomposed body was found inside the IIT Kharagpur hostel on October 14, 2022. Initially, both Kharagpur police and IIT authorities had claimed that Faizan committed suicide. However, parents moved to the High Court, claiming it a murder. When the first postmortem report could not ascertain the cause of death, Justice Mantha appointed a forensic expert Dr Ajay Gupta, who after going through the first autopsy report requested a fresh postmortem. And after the second postmortem, Calcutta High Court declared that the death of Faizan was a ‘homicide’. Justice Mantha also constituted SIT led by Additional Director General (ADG) of Police K Jayaraman. The court had also appointed an officer from CID, West Bengal and another from homicide department.
The division bench of Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Bhattacharyya set aside the rest two members of SIT, and mentioned that it is not the court which can select the team, but the leading officer will choose his own team.
However, the two petitions in IIT Kharagpur student Faizan Ahmed murder case went on for more than 45 minutes argument as both additional advocate general Samrat Sen and lawyer Anindya Mitra respectively for state and IIT made several points on the formation of SIT and the entire case itself. Sen insisted to the division bench that police was doing a fair job and it should not be removed as done by the single bench, Mitra even claimed that parents of Faizan Ahmed did the case to ‘extort’ money from IIT. At one point he mentioned that it is not even a case of ragging, which Faizan’s lawyer Ranajit Chatterjee opposed and reminded that there is a letter by the deceased about ragging and IIT authorities have taken action on his complaint.
Meanwhile, there is another case of ragging reported. It led to murder of Swapnadip Kundu, a first year student of Jadavpur University has taken place and several protests are taking place in the state capital.
With the order, it cleared the way to submit the progress report of the case before the single bench which was supposed to be tabled in July itself.
“The evidence had made it clear that my son was murdered. And police did not investigate properly so SIT was needed. Now again, the High Court has agreed that it is a case of homicide and SIT will continue. I had believed in the judiciary and my faith had been restored. Now I want the state side and IIT to stand with us as it is we who lost our only child,” Rehana Ahmed, mother of Faizan told eNewsroom after the order.