Ranchi, Dec. 21: In a “vindication” of the stand taken by the family of BIT student Abhishek Mishra, Jharkhand High Court today took suo motu cognizance of a letter from the boy’s father demanding a CBI probe into his death at the Dasham waterfall a fortnight ago.
A division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice M. Karpagavinayagam appointed advocate Rajiv Ranjan as amicus curiae in the case and also sent a notice to Abhishek’s father, Dr Subhash Chandra Mishra.
Ranjan said the advocate-general has been instructed to appear on behalf of the government on January 8.
Mishra, the chief medical officer of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, had written to the Chief Justice of India, the chief justice of Jharkhand High Court and the National Human Rights Commission seeking investigation by an independent agency like the CBI into the death. The autopsy report said the young man drowned.
Abhishek, a final year computer student at BIT-Mesra, had gone on a picnic to Dasham on December 8 with three friends, among who was Ragini, the daughter of railway minister Lalu Prasad. Also present were Vishal Pandey and Bharat Anand, a relative of former state minister Ravindra Rai.
Mishra told The Telegraph that he felt vindicated now that there was a ray of hope. “I have full faith in the judiciary. I am sure to get justice,” he said over phone from his Gurgaon residence.
The distraught father said he was not going to get back his son. “But an independent inquiry will at least bring out the truth behind his death and give me a big consolation,” he said.
The death has rocked the winter session of the Assembly with the Opposition clamouring for a CBI probe. Chief minister Madhu Koda, who has so far steadfastly refused to give in, today maintained the state police were competent enough.
“We will make all the papers necessary available to the court. The state machinery is competent for the job, if it fails we will think of the CBI,” Koda said.
Mishra has said that he smelt a rat because of the circumstances leading up to Abhishek’s death. He also pointed to the “silence” maintained by the three friends after they recorded their statements with the police on the day of the tragedy.
Bharat, however, has said there was no question of any foul play and that Abhishek drowned accidentally when he had gone to relieve himself.