The Bombay High Court on Tuesday discontinued monitoring the probe being conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
A division bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and PD Naik said: “…No further monitoring is required,” while disposing the petition filed by Dabholkar's daughter Mukta Dabholkar.
Mukta had sought the court to continue monitoring the probe saying that the CBI has not investigated the case properly and there are many loopholes that are yet to be probed.
Narendra Dabholkar killed; probe to CBI in 2014
Dabholkar, 67, the founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an anti-superstition organisation, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants while on a morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013. He was shot by persons allegedly linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha.
Initially, the case was probed by the local Pune police. Following petition by journalist Ketan Tirodkar and later by Mukta, the investigation was transferred to the CBI in 2014 and ever since, the court continued to monitor the probe. The central agency was submitting periodical reports to the court.
CBI completed probe in January
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, had informed the HC in January that its probe into the case was complete and that the investigation officer has sent a closure report to its head office for approval.
Mukta’s advocate Abhay Nevagi had requested the court to continue overseeing the probe at least for the next six months, and emphasized that the masterminds of the crime were yet to be arrested. He argued that the CBI is yet to trace the motorcycle and weapons used in the crime. He pointed out that according to the CBI’s statement in the supplementary chargesheet, the investigation is continuing.
Accused said court needn't monitor probe
Advocates Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Subhash Jha, appearing for accused Vikram Bhave and Virendra Tawade, requested the court to dispose of the petition as there was no requirement for the court to monitor the probe since the chargesheet was already filed in the case. They contended when a petition is pending in the high court, it has an effect on the trial.
However, the HC had clarified that they did not have locus in this petition.
The CBI, which took over the case from Pune city police in 2014, has charge-sheeted five accused in the case – Tawade, Sachin Andure, Sharad Kalaskar, Vikram Bhave and advocate Sanjeev Punalekar.
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