Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday said the killings of eminent personalities like Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare would have a global impact. The HC also said that the main objective of the perpetrators of these killings is to ensure that every dissent is silenced. The bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel made the observations while hearing a bunch of petitions seeking it to monitor the probe in the killings of Dabholkar (in August 2013) and Pansare (in February 2015). “Eventually such crimes have a global impact. We have noticed that these are not crimes committed on account of some family dispute or past rivalries. These are also not some gang wars or murders for a property,” the bench noted.

“The perpetrators of these crimes have ensured that dissent is silenced, at least temporarily. That if you have a different and distinct opinion than that of the majority, then, your fate will be like that of these four eminent personalities and it is that chilling message, which the Maharashtra government must take note of,” the judges remarked. The bench asked the government and its machinery to introspect and decide if it wants to allow these crimes to continue in the state.

The judges also emphasised on the need to arrest the absconding accused as soon as possible and to intensify their search operations to trace out them. “However, we do not think that it is impossible to nab them even after five or 10 years from the date of the offence. Eventually, the skills have to be sharpened and to such an extent that the accused are caught or they surrender,” the judges said. The court further said that the probe agencies – CBI and SIT – must corner the absconding accused, in order to arrest them. It said that the probe agencies must first focus on stopping the supplies of money and other resources to these absconders.

“However, for all this, the location of these accused needs to be ascertained. It is the first stage itself which is yet not reached and we are sorry to say this for the simple reason that every such absconder would be emboldened and will never be arrested. We do not think the whole machinery is so helpless that two or three absconding accused can give them sleepless nights endlessly,” the judges said.

During the course of the hearing, the judges also slammed the CBI, which said it could not trace out the pistols, allegedly used in the crimes, from the Thane creek as it is yet to get a nod from the state environment department. Irked over the submission, the bench said, “We do not see how laws related to the ecology and environment are affected adversely.” The matter was accordingly adjourned for further hearing on August 9.

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