The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday directed the state to extend all possible assistance to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the investigation of Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s murder after the central agency said it hopes to trace the weapons used to kill the rationalist soon. The HC also directed the state chief secretary to meet the additional chief secretary (home) and principal secretaries of public works and finance departments to apprise them of the CBI’s needs.
A division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and BP Colabawalla was hearing separate petitions, filed by family members of Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, seeking court-monitoring of the investigations. While the CBI is investigating the murder of Dabholkar, shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, a special investigation team of the state police is probing the assassination of Pansare, who, along with his wife, was attacked on February 16, 2015. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, representing the CBI, told the bench, “Steps are being taken to trace weapons used and we expect definite results in four to six weeks.”
After perusing a report submitted by the CBI in a sealed cover, the bench said the agency will have to “deploy some agency from outside the country and every step taken by the central agency henceforth will require considerable financial and other assistance from the state”. “If a major operation is to be carried out of the scale that is contemplated by the CBI, the authorities in the state will have to co-ordinate and extend ground-level assistance to it,” the judges said, directing the executive to take the lead as currently, ministers are busy with elections. “The political parties must understand that if any persons connected with organisations under their auspices are involved [in the murders], it is their duty to ensure that no one is spared, as tomorrow if the party in power changes, these very same people [the perpetrators] may become victims,” the judges said.
Referring to journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder in Bangalore in 2017, the HC said “authorities acted swiftly without intervention of the court”. The bench said it hopes the state functionaries will not require court orders to take necessary steps.
Apr 27, 2021 04:13 IST