Narendra Dabholkar
Narendra Dabholkar
File Pic

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday said the political parties which have come to power by promising to uphold constitution must provide all guidance to the agencies which are probing the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. The HC further said there were some lacks in the probe, which is being carried out by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Special Investigation Team (SIT). A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a bunch of petitions urging the court to monitor probe of the killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, who were shot down by persons belonging to Hindu extremist groups for their “views.”

During the course of the hearing, the CBI informed the bench that it is awaiting the government's nod to carry out operations. The agency said the accused have allegedly disposed of the four country made pistols, used to shoot the rationalists, in a creek.

“We are yet to get a nod from the government to carry out the search operations,” said Anil Singh, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG). At this, the judges said, “We hope you do not back out from this. And preferably start the operations before the onset of monsoon.” “We hope the political leaders, who have come to power by promising to maintain peace and uphold constitutional rights of the citizens, must ensure that these agencies are given proper guidance.” The bench further pointed out that in the Dabholkar case, which is being probed by CBI, all the accused including the assailants have been arrested. "However, we find that there are some lacks in the probe of Pansare. The agency has only been able to arrest the conspirators of the crime but not the shooters," Justice Dharmadhikari pointed out.

To this, special prosecutor Ashok Mundargi, appearing for the SIT told the judges that there is some commonality between the murders of Dabholkar and Pansare. "We have established some commonality in both the crimes. And we are investigating the case further," Mundargi told the judges. Having heard the submissions, Justice Dharmadhikari said, “Keep in mind that the credibility of the agency is at stake. Moreover, this case assumes significance as eminent personalities like Dabholkar and Pansare have been killed.”The judges accordingly adjourned the matter for further hearing after four weeks.

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