There are some people asking about the progress on Naina Singh‘s murder case. Among those frustrated with the lack of justice, there are stray comments about how an FIR has STILL not been filed. Others speak about how “people like me” support whatever news comes in and then forget about it.
The assumptions are natural in the absence of knowledge, since that IS what happens often. There has been no update for a while. However, in this case, that is not so. Some of us have consolidated into a core team – @fzlsammy, @sunnykanungo and @Vidyut (me), while we are closely supported by others, @NilimDutta @Saima2000 and others and we are in regular touch with her, as well as offering any support needed.
The situation is that with the police offering Malti Singh an investigation report that rules Naina’s death as natural, the ball is in Malti Singh’s court. It can no longer be said that they are not filing an FIR or are delaying filing an FIR, because they have dismissed the need for an FIR altogether by saying that there is nothing suspicious about her death.
Malti Singh now has to approach the court under Section 200 and ask for the in-laws to be summoned because of Naina Singh’s death being suspicious, and get the court to order an investigation under 156(3) as originally it should have been.
Toward this end, we have done the following:
- Stayed in close touch with Malti Singh with regard to developments in the case
- Consulted with each other and other experienced lawyers regarding the best options available to her
- Reviewed (by the lawyers among us) the documents she will be submitting to the courts in order to ensure that all details of interest to our case are included and there are no mistakes that may damage the cause of justice.
- Assured Malti Singh that we will stand by her all through and our willingness to raise money for the legal expenses as necessary so that expense is not a factor to make her hesitate.
- Listened to her and counselled and served as a sounding board on options open to her and what needs to be done.
- @sunnykanungo has physically met her several times and is ready to be present at whatever legal action she initiates and has also accompanied her to meetings with the police as a show of support, as well as to provide legal insight and make appropriate inquiries of them.
- He has also spoken with the police independently to understand their view in detail so that we may factor that into our strategy for the case.
- @sunnykanungo stands ready to accompany her and assist her with any legal action initiated.
Status as of now:
- Malti Singh understands the situations and the actions needed.
- She herself being employed with the court as a clerk is familiar with the procedures and sounds confident and determined to proceed.
- She understands that she needs to act soon or her hesitation may be interpreted as a lack of interest and may damage her case.
- Due to inexplicable reasons, she hasn’t actually filed so far. We have spoken to her several times, and each time she has said that she would be filing on the next working day. Some of it is also weekends and Diwali.
- A lawyer she trusts (not among us) is traveling for the Haj and is out of town. She doesn’t trust his replacement or is unsure of his competence – not clear.
- She understands that she need not depend on them and can proceed with the assistance of @sunnykanungo alone. It is unclear if she possibly doesn’t trust us either.
- It is a difficult situation for her emotionally, and it is possible that she is feeling unsure and powerless or untrusting of the world in general.
- It is clear to us that while we can support her as far as we are able, we cannot actually initiate anything without her.
- We are currently still in touch with her, offering all our resources as per her need. She is still saying that she will file at the soonest, so who knows, by the time I publish this update, she may actually have filed.
As you can see, we are not able to “deliver” much in this situation. However, we can continue to be available and supportive, as all of us are. We are continuing to remain in touch with her, and we will support whatever she chooses.
I will update as and if any progress is made, but till then, this situation should be understood to be current. Please rest assured that we care, and no one is abandoning anyone here.