The Supreme Court on Friday sought a status report from the Maharashtra Government regarding the probe into the lynching and consequent death of two Sadhus in Palghar.
The Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a petition seeking Court-monitored investigation and/or transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging that the police was complicit in the lynching of the two saints.
Refusing to stay the ongoing investigation, the Court asked petitioner, Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, to serve a copy of the same to the State of Maharashtra and listed the matter after 4 weeks.
At the outset, the petitioner cited media reports to suggest that there was a breakdown of law and order, as the police were complicit and the administration did nothing to prevent the horrific incident.
"Media reports show that police was complicit. They did not use any power available to them to stop this. This shows a failure of administration during the lockdown", alleged the petitioner.
The petitioner also raised questions on how the police allowed such a crowd to assemble in the first place, since it is in absolute violation of lockdown rules.
The standing counsel for Maharashtra, appearing through video conferencing, apprised the court that the Central Investigation Department (CID) was investigating the case, which comes under the Additional Director General (ADG) of Maharashtra itself.
On April 16, two saints travelling from Mumbai to Surat had their car stopped by a mob of over 200 people. This mob then proceeded to upturn the car and pelt stones, eventually resulting in the death of both the saints.
The Bombay High Court has issued notice on a similar petition seeking CBI/SIT investigation on the crime.