The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has informed the Bombay High Court on Monday that it has completed its probe into the 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and that the investigating officer (IO) has submitted a closure report to the competent authority.
Family says probe has loopholes
However, Dabholkar’s daughter, Mukta Dabhoklar, has claimed that the central agency has not investigated the case properly and there are many loopholes that are yet to be probed.
Dabholkar, 67, a rationalist and the founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an anti-superstition organization, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants while on a morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013.
A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and P D Naik is hearing a petition filed by Mukta Dabholkar seeking that the court continues to monitor the investigation.
The CBI has filed a chargesheet against five accused in the case.
Early this month, the HC had asked the CBI to inform the status of its probe in the case.
During the hearing on Monday, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, told the court that the agency has completed its investigation in the case.
"As far as the CBI is concerned, the investigation was carried out and is now complete...15 out of 32 witnesses have already been examined in the trial," Singh told the court. He further said that the IO has filed a report recommending the closure of the case. A final decision would be taken by the agency's competent authority, he said.
On a court query, Singh said that it would take three weeks' time for a decision on the closure report.
Advocates Subhash Jha and Virendra Ichalkarajikar, appearing for accused Sharad Kalaskar and Vikram Bhave, opposed the plea saying that further monitoring of the probe was not required since the trial has underway.
“The trial is underway, and more than 15 witnesses have been examined. The law is clear that the monitoring should come to an end after the filing is chargesheet. There are many orders to support the view,” said Jha adding that already a chargesheet and two supplementary have been filed. Also, whatever, the court here says has repercussions on the trial, he added.
Advocate Abhay Nevagi, representing Mukta Dabholkar, said that the probe has not been conducted properly and there are several loopholes.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing after three weeks.
The HC, in 2014, had transferred the probe from the Pune police to the CBI following a petition by activist Ketan Tirodkar. Later Mukta too had filed a petition seeking the transfer of the probe to the central agency. Since then, the HC has been monitoring the progress of the case.
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