Narendra Dabholkar murder: Bombay High Court calls for status of probe by CBI 

Narendra Dabholkar murder: Bombay High Court calls for status of probe by CBI 

A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and P D Naik directed the CBI on Wednesday while hearing a petition by Dabholkar's daughter Mukta Dabholkar seeking that the court continues to monitor the investigation.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, January 12, 2023, 08:02 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the status of the investigation into the 2013 murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholka, while hearing a petition by Dabholkar's daughter Mukta Dabholkar seeking that the court continues to monitor the investigation.

A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and P D Naik directed the CBI on Wednesday while hearing a petition by Dabholkar's daughter Mukta Dabholkar seeking that the court continue to monitor the investigation.

The high court had, in 2014, transferred the probe from the Pune police to the CBI following a petition by activist Ketan Tirodkar. Later Ms Dabholkar also filed a petition seeking the transfer of the probe to the central agency. The high court has been monitoring the progress in the case since then.

Dabholkar's killing in 2013

Dabholkar, a rationalist and the founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an anti-superstition organization, was killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants while on a morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013. The assailants were allegedly linked to the Sanatan Sanstha.

The CBI has filed charge sheets against five persons. It had earlier said that the investigation was still on as the masterminds of the murder were at large.

During the hearing on Wednesday, a division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and PD Naik initially said that the high court need not monitor the probe as the charge sheet has already been filed. "There cannot be perpetual monitoring. Some monitoring is fine but law is clear that when a charge sheet is filed, the rights of the accused are to be considered," said Justice Gadkari.

However,Ms Dabholkar’s advocate, Abhay Nevagi, argued that the CBI was yet to trace the motorcycle and weapons used in the crime. Also, the supplementary charge sheet filed by the agency stated that the investigation was still going on.

To this, the court asked Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI,to inform it about what had happened after the filing of supplementary chargesheet in 2019. Singh sought time as a new investigating officer had taken over the probe.

An intervention application has meanwhile been filed by two of the five arrested accused in the case, Vikram Bhave and Virendrasinh Tavade, opposing the petition filed by Mukta Dabholkar.

The HC has kept the petition for hearing on January 30.

Charges framed in Pansare murder case

A Kolhapur court had on January 10 framed charges against 10 accused in the 2015 murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare. The investigation has revealed that the accused in the case are linked to Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliates.

On February 16, 2015,motorcycle-borne assailants had shot at Pansare and his wife Uma near their residence. Pansare succumbed to injuries four days later during treatment, while his wife recovered. Two accused, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, are still absconding.

Of the accused in the case, Virendrasinh Tawade, Sharad Kalaskar, and Sachin Andure are also being tried in the 2013 murder case of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar.

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