The Central Bureau of Investigation informed the Bombay High Court today that they have “dropped” the idea of taking Scotland Yard’s opinion in the murder of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi.
The bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and BP Colabawalla were informed by CBI’s counsel Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, that Scotland Yard had in writing stated that there is no mutual agreement between India and the United Kingdom regarding sharing of forensic data and hence consultation will not be possible. When enquired whether these “difficulties” could be overcome, Singh replied that CBI had decided “to drop the idea”.
This irked the bench as the CBI has consistently sought adjournments in the case citing a delay in getting Scotland Yard’s opinion. The bench yet again expressed its unhappiness over the slow progress in the case. Unfortunately this phenomenon has been common to almost every hearing in the case for the past year. The bench also observed that the CBI has been well aware of these “difficulties” still sought adjournments in the case.
CBI has been looking to find out whether there was a link between the murders of Pansare, Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi. Dabholkar was murdered in 2013, while Pansare and Kalburgi were killed in 2015. Kalburgi was a Kannada writer, who like Dabholkar spoke against superstitious practices.
Apart from all this, the CBI also submitted a ballistic report from a forensic lab in Ahmedabad. The purpose of this report is to determine whether there is a link between the three murders. This is the third ballistic report as two reports with conflicting conclusions have already been obtained, one from Bangalore and the other from Mumbai.
While the CBI is probing rationalist Dabholkar’s murder, a Special Investigation Team is investigating social activist Govind Pansare’s killing.
Although the SIT had informed the court in November last year that they were “very close to cracking the case” and were expecting “some big leads” in the investigations in a week’s time, their counsel Ashok Mundargi informed the court today that suspects have been identified however they were absconding.
Meanwhile, Pansare and Dabholkar’s family members distributed pamphlets with pictures of three accused who are also accused in the Goa blast case and have been declared as absconding by the National Investigating Agency (NIA). They said that if any information about the whereabouts of the accused was given to the Maharashtra government, a reward of Rs.25 lakh will be given.
Finally both CBI and SIT sought eight more weeks in the matter, hence the case will now come up for hearing on March 20.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.