Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday pulled up the Maharashtra government and its police force along with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for their ‘miserable and unsatisfactory’ probe in the murder cases of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
An ‘enraged’ bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre accordingly summoned the Joint Director of CBI and also the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of state Home Department, to remain present in the court on July 12. The judges were irked to note that despite the tall claims made by the agencies of having kept an eye on ‘extremist’ people and organisations in the state, the Karnataka police investigating the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh case, recently picked up a suspect in the case, from Maharashtra.
“We fail to understand as to how did the authorities from Karnataka managed to make arrests from Maharashtra in the killing of Gauri Lankesh murder case, especially, when the probe agencies here, have claimed they are keeping a watch on some sansthas,” Justice Dharmadhikari remarked. “We are of the opinion that the probe agencies here must adopt the seriousness and promptness from their counterparts in Karnataka. We believe there is a lack of coordination and the probe agencies here have restricted themselves only to analysing call data records,” Justice Dharmadhikari observed. The judges clarified that they will not accept the case of the CBI and the State CID, that they have reached a ‘dead end’ in the investigations pertaining murders of Pansare and Dabholkar.
“We are of the view that the investigations in both the cases have not been carried out sincerely. Thus, we deem it our duty to call the highest officials of both the agencies and seek to know from them, their stand in the present case,” Justice Dharmadhikari added. Meanwhile, Dabholkar’s daughter Mukta filed an affidavit before the bench seeking a direction to the government to constitute a ‘dedicated’ team of officials to further investigate the two killings. In her affidavit, she has highlighted the discrepancy on part of both the agencies, which have claimed that same weapon was used to kill Pansare and MM Kalburgi in Bangaluru.
The affidavit states, “Now, the Karnataka authorities claim there was a connection between the killings of Kalburgi and Lankesh. Therefore, it was apparent that the above cases were linked and required more co-ordination among all probe agencies concerned.”