Jheeram Ghati Massacre| Apex Court Rejects NIA's Appeal Against Chhattisgarh Police Investigation Into Larger Conspiracy Aspect
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the Chhattisgarh Police probe into an FIR alleging larger conspiracy in the 2013 Jheeram Ghati Naxal attack that killed 29 people, including leaders of the state Congress unit.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said, "Sorry, we would not like to interfere. Dismissed."
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the NIA, told the bench that the larger conspiracy angle into the incident should be investigated by the NIA as the main FIR of the case is investigated by the Central agency.
He said when the Chhattisgarh Police refused to hand over the records to the NIA, the agency moved the trial court, which rejected the plea.
"Thereafter, the high court also dismissed the plea against the trial court order on March 2, 2022," he said, adding that when the main case is being investigated by the NIA, a separate FIR related to the same incident cannot be investigated by another agency.
Senior Advocate ANS Nadkarni and advocate Sumeer Sodhi, appearing for the Chhattisgarh government, said the state had initially requested the NIA to investigate the larger conspiracy angle of the incident but they refused.
"The state government then requested the Centre to entrust the probe of a larger conspiracy to the CBI as NIA had refused to probe. The Centre refused to hand over the probe to the CBI. Then what could the state government do. It asked the police to register the FIR and investigate the larger conspiracy angle," Nadkarni said.
The bench also heard the counsel for the complainant Jitendra Mudaliar, on whose complaint the FIR was lodged.
On May 25, 2013, Naxals had attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Jheeram valley in Darbha area of Bastar district, killing 29 people, including then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister Vidyacharan Shukla.
The deadly ambush by heavily armed Naxals had taken place when the political campaigning for the then assembly elections was on and Congress leaders were returning after taking part in a Parivartan rally' at Bastar district.
With PTI Inputs