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Nitish Katara murder case: Delhi HC denies police protection to retired Investigation Officer

ANI | Updated: Aug 12, 2022 20:07 IST

New Delhi [India], August 12 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition of the former Investigating Officer (IO) in the Nitish Katara murder case seeking direction from the Centre to provide police protection by a central agency to him.
The bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh in an order passed on July 25, 2022 said, "I am of the view that it is the State of Uttar Pradesh who is the best judge of the threat perception to the petitioner. Once they have conducted an inquiry and come to a finding that there is no threat perception against the petitioner till now, this Court cannot substitute its own judgment to that of the State authority. Once the State authority is of the view that the petitioner does not need round-the-clock security cover that in my considered view is where the matter should rest."
The court also said, "It is the State which has all relevant information, the expertise and the confidential information to evaluate threat perceptions to various individuals. I am not to sit in the armchair of the State and analyse the threat perception to an individual citizen. It is the job of a State to protect the life, limb and property of its subjects.
It also cannot be lost sight that the petitioner was a trained police officer having held sensitive and important positions over his career of 40 years now. The petitioner has a 0.315 bore rifle as well as a 0.32 bore revolver with a duly authorized license and has the ability to defend himself if so required, add the court.

The court while passing the order also said, "If every police officer who is an investigating officer in a murder case during his service career or has handled high profile cases is to be provided round the clock security after retirement, it will neither be feasible nor desirable."
This court is always open to protecting all citizens and their rights including those officials involved in sensitive cases. However, when there is no threat perceived or seen to be present, it will be a waste of state resources, time and machinery and able officers of the police force to provide the same. With these observations, I find no merit in the present writ petition. The same is dismissed, said the court.
The Petitioner stated that he was the Investigating Officer of the Nitish Katara murder case, where Vikas and Vishal Yadav, the son and nephew of DP Yadav, former minister and MP were convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail. Their sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court.
It was stated that the petitioner has been provided with a security cover since 2002 and was to be withdrawn later when he retired on November 30, 2021. Thus, the petitioner approached this court to seek relief by praying for adequate security cover for the protection of his life.
Advocate PK Dey, senior counsel appeared for the petitioner and stated that the petitioner has held very sensitive and risk-taking job profiles wherein he has arrested, charge-sheeted, and had encounters with not only high-risk criminals but also terrorists and various inter-state gangs of extortionists and murderers. He has submitted that the petitioner played a crucial role in the investigation of the Nitish Katara case and was a key witness to the conviction of the accused. He further submitted that Neelam Katara as well as Ajay Katara, who were the witnesses in the Nitish Katara case, have been provided police protection. (ANI)