In a bizarre but shocking development, the mother of the missing JNU student, Najeeb Ahmed, has alleged that the criminal defamation case file against Times of India and India Today had gone missing from Metropolitan Magistrate Ambika Singh’s registry in Patiala House Court.
A statement issued by of Fatima Nafees, the mother of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, said that ‘in a most shocking and brazen manner, the file itself has been removed from the court premises.’
Fatima Nafees had filed the complaint against Times Group and India Today Group as well as individuals such as ABVP activist Saurabh Sharma for defaming her son by maliciously linking him to an international terror outfit. The Delhi Police had later the content of the report, attributed to its sources.
The statement by Nafees said that in the second part of her statement which was to be recorded on Friday, she was expected to bring on record the role of India Today, Dilli Aaj Tak and of Saurabh Sharma. But to the family’s utter shock, they were informed that the said file had gone ‘missing.’
The statement read, “The Times of India began the most malicious, derogatory, and defamatory campaign against Najeeb Ahmed on 21st March 2017 claiming that Najeeb was “watching inflammatory material on his laptop” and linked him with an international terrorist organisation. This communal and hate-filled propaganda was picked up by other news agencies, and widely circulated on social media.”
The matter was listed for Friday after more than three months. When Nafees last recorded a part of her statement on 26 May 2018, she was narrating the background to this case about the disappearance of her son, and by the time she began to name the first accused, that is, Times of India, the judge had abruptly asked her to stop. Only one of the 10 accused were named till then.
Alleging that the Delhi police was partisan and shielded the ABVP members, who assaulted Najeeb, Najeeb’s mother also accused the CBI of surrendering to their political masters in the central government.
“To aid their efforts, certain sections of the media has run a malicious and communal propaganda. The only hope was to knock on the doors of the court. Tragically, seeking justice for Najeeb through legal means has also seen the brazen interference from the corridors of power,” Nafees said.
She said that the ‘right-wing BJP government’ had interfered in this case from the first day to protect its ABVP members. “Now it is in their interest to stop this defamation case from going to trial. It helps to perpetuate their polarising agenda as long as Najeeb and Fatima’s names are tainted with malicious and false suspicions,” she added.
She also highlighted the double-standard of the court in dealing with two defamation cases. She said, “When Mr Arun Jaitley filed a defamation case, the court wanted to finish the hearing in 3 months and the matter was listed every week. In the case of a marginalised person, somehow courts are not able to find dates to conduct the hearing on an urgent basis. Now even the file goes missing. Why such double standards for justice for the citizens of this country?”