18 May 2023 4:18 PM GMT
‘The Supreme Court on Thursday heard the plea challenging the Bombay High Court's refusal to continue monitoring the murder probe of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar.A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ahsanuddin Amanullah has asked the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition and the Bombay High Court’s order to the CBI. During the brief hearing, Senior Advocate...
‘The Supreme Court on Thursday heard the plea challenging the Bombay High Court's refusal to continue monitoring the murder probe of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar.
A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ahsanuddin Amanullah has asked the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition and the Bombay High Court’s order to the CBI.
During the brief hearing, Senior Advocate Anand Grover for the petitioners pointed to the CBI's statement that the investigation is in progress with respect to the two-absconding accused and further investigation is going on to apprehend the other accused involved in the larger conspiracy. He also argued that the absconding persons had not been apprehended yet.
He also referred to paragraph 8 of the High Court order which stated that the CBI required more time to conclude investigation in the matter.
"The High Court can't monitor investigation to investigation", the Bench opined.
"We are not asking them to monitor the trial. I'm not that", Grover said adding that only “part-progress” had been made in the matter but not on larger conspiracy angle.
“We want CBI's probe on that to be complete and till then HC should supervise”, he argued.
"Your point is that CBI should conclude investigation so that trial can begin?", asked the Court, to which Grover agreed.
Is the CBI wanting some time for joint trial?, the Bench further asked.
The matter will be next taken up in the second week of July.
Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist and social activists, was shot dead by extremist elements on his morning walk in 2013.
Dabholkar’s daughter – Mukta- had approached the High Court in 2015 through Advocate Abhay Nevagi, who had requested the court to continue overseeing the probe at least for the next six months, and emphasized that the masterminds of the crime were yet to be arrested.
Dabholkar, championing the anti-superstition cause through his organisation Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti was shot dead by two bike-borne men on a morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013.
In 2014, the court transferred the probe to the CBI from Pune police following a petition by activist Ketan Tirodkar and later by Mukta Dabholkar. Since then, the court has been monitoring the progress in the case.
In 2021, the special Pune court framed charges against alleged mastermind Virendra Sinh Tawde and charged him, along with three others for murder, conspiracy and terror-related offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The fifth accused Advocate Sanjeev Punalekar was charged with destruction of evidence.
The accused were allegedly connected to the right-wing religious outfit Sanathan Sanstha. Since then, several witnesses have been examined in the case.
Case Title: Mukta Dabholkar And Anr. v. CBI And Ors. SLP(Crl) No. 6539/2023
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