The Supreme Court has re-opened a 17-year-old triple murder case, in which a woman and her two children were killed in Uttar Pradesh, and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI Special Director M L Sharma to probe it.
The case relates to the killing of a woman and her two children on July 24, 2001, in which an FIR was lodged at Pilakhua near Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer ordered an SIT probe on a petition filed by the mother-in-law of the deceased woman who alleged that the Uttar Pradesh police had showed lackadaisical approach in carrying out the investigation.
The top court also noted that though the case was handed over to the CBI, the victims preferred to withdraw the case from the apex court allegedly under pressure from the accused.
Taking note of the entire facts of the case, the bench said, "We are of the view that it is necessary to have a fair, honest and complete investigation."
It appointed the SIT with Sharma as its chairman and granted him the liberty to choose officers of his choice.
It is evident that the real culprits responsible for murder have not been subjected to trial, the court said.
"We direct the SIT to proceed as regards further investigation...and to submit its report within a period of three months from today," the bench said.
It directed the state government to provide all logistics including travelling, boarding and lodging expenses to the members of SIT.
Seema Garg, daughter-in-law of Sunita Devi, her two children were killed under mysterious circumstances on July 24, 2001. The case was lodged by her husband Nitin Garg but he was arrested by police on suspicion.
The trial court had acquitted all the accused in the triple murder case but before that on July 16, 2002, Nitin Garg was also killed under mysterious circumstances while he was on bail.
For Nitin Garg's killing also the accused persons, Sunil Kumar Bansal, Pradeep, Harish and Rinku, were acquitted by the trial court and verdict was upheld by the high court and apex court for his murder.
Sunita Devi moved the apex court for a CBI probe but the petition was withdrawn. The order directing investigation by the CBI was also withdrawn by the top court on September 5, 2014.