Need A Trained Dedicated Team To Probe Dabholkar-Pansare Murders: Bombay HC Tells CBI, SIT

Need A Trained Dedicated Team To Probe Dabholkar-Pansare Murders: Bombay HC Tells CBI, SIT

The Bombay High Court on Thursday continued to question the investigating agencies conducting the probe in the murders of both rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and CPI leader Govind Pansare.

A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice MS Karnik observed that both the CBI and SIT were relying on the information given by the accused in Gauri Lankesh case arrested by the Karnataka police. The court said instead of simply relying on such information given in another case, agencies should focus on procuring their own independent material that can qualify as evidence in these two cases.

The court noted that the Karnataka police had managed to nab the accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case even though it took place in September 2017, whereas the investigations in both Pansare and Dabholkar case were lagging behind. Dabholkar, a Pune-based anti-superstition activist, was shot dead while he was on morning walk in August 2013, while Govind Pansare, a CPI leader, was shot dead in February 2015.

The court noted that there is a need for a dedicated team with the requisite training and a special focus to find the accused in the Pansare and Dabholkar cases.

After a progress report submitted by the SIT, the court said-

"You are questioning the accused in another case in Karnataka, but the report does not reveal what the actual measures you are taking to arrest the absconding accused. You cannot rely completely on the revelations made by the accused in another case. How long will this go on? You have to conduct an independent probe, gather some independent material."

The bench further noted that agencies in Karnataka were making a headway while those in Maharashtra had failed.

"The unfortunate part is that in one state the machinery gets full assistance, while in our state, either the machinery is not working or not getting cooperation," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared on behalf of the CBI and submitted that the investigating agencies in Maharashtra worked better than anyone else. He also said that soon a charge sheet would be filed in Narendra Dabholkar murder case.

The court asked both CBI and SIT to make sincere efforts to arrest the accused in both cases and submit a further progress report in the next hearing on February 6.