Orissa High Court Orders Crime Branch To Probe RTI Activist’s ‘Murder’: Police Completed Investigation In Hush Hush Manner


The Orissa High Court in the case Lakshmidhar Das @ Laxmidhar Das & Anr. v. State of Odisha & Ors observed and has ordered a de novo investigation by the Crime Branch into the alleged murder of an RTI activist in the year 2020.

The bench headed by Dr. Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi stated while expressing displeasure over the investigation done by the police that it transpires that it has not been given by the police therein the proper thought to the clips of video and the culprits. The investigation has been completed by the said police in a hush hush manner without bringing all angles to the ambit of investigation. It has been stated by Ranjan Kumar Das, who being a 35-year-old RTI activist was found dead in 2020 in a field. The police stated that Das died after falling from his bike in an accident.

 Therefore, it has been challenged by his father he police claim and stated that he suspects some foul-play in the death of his son, who being a well-known for unearthing several sensitive information involving influential persons. However, he also approached the High Court with a prayer for constituting a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or else, to order any impartial agency to take over for conducting a fresh independent inquiry. The said court went through the video clip contained in a pen-drive which is attached to the case file and in the case the said police has not conducted a proper probe.

The court stated while considering the said view of the matter and has directed that the matter be handed over the Crime Branch for a de novo inquiry regarding the death of son of petitioner no.1. The present I.O. is directed to hand over the charge of the investigation to the Crime Branch forthwith, the court directed to complete the investigation as early as possible, preferably within a period of three months from the date of taking over the said charge.