The Telegraph
Friday , February 22 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Report on girl death at Gadkari home vetoed

Nagpur, Feb. 21: A trial court today rejected for the second time a CID closure report that a seven-year-old girl whose body was found in a car parked at Nitin Gadkari’s home in 2009 “must have died accidentally”.

The court expressed displeasure over the Maharashtra police agency’s shoddy probe and observed it had not followed directions given by the high court.

The rejection means the court is not convinced Yogita Thakre “must have died accidentally after getting locked inside the car”, the same conclusion as in December 2011 when the court first disapproved the CID’s findings and asked it to investigate afresh.

Yogita’s mother Vimal worked as a maid at the Gadkari household and the girl had accompanied her to work hours before the child’s body was found in a car parked at the residence on May 19, 2009.

Turning down the first report, the court had said the agency had only recorded the statements of people instead of finding out the truth about how exactly Yogita died.

Today, the court said it would treat a protest petition, filed by the girl’s father against the CID closure report, as a private criminal complaint because it would be a waste of time to order another probe.

In its second closure report, like in the first, the CID rejected the molest-and-murder allegation by the victim’s father, Ashok Thakre. He has named nine persons he suspects played a role in his daughter’s death. One is a member of the Gadkari family and the rest his staff, Thakre’s lawyer Naresh Kolhe said.

But by ruling his plea would be treated as a private criminal complaint, the court has put the onus of proof on Thakre. A magistrate can under CrPC take cognisance of the complaint and examine the complainant and the witnesses, if any. If convinced his complaint against the nine prima facie has enough substance, the court may direct the police to investigate again.

“But that will mean the probe going back to the local police on whom we have no faith,” Kolhe said.

Yogita’s parents are learnt to be exploring two options now — approaching the high court with a request for a CBI probe or going in an appeal in a session’s court against today’s order.

The Class III student with a congenital heart disease and sickle cell anaemia was found face downwards on the rear seat of the car belonging to Sudhir Dive, Gadkari’s personal secretary and MD of his Purti group of industries. The autopsy found bloodstains in her underwear and on her shoulder and thighs, and noted evidence of bleeding from her mouth and nose. It said the cause of death was homicidal or accidental “smothering”. The police never collected fingerprint samples from the car.