27 April 2014The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today informed the Bombay High Court that it was considering taking over the probe into the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. Making this statement, CBI lawyer Rebecca Gonsalves sought time to seek instructions from agency’s head office in this regard.
A division bench headed by Justice P V Hardas gave one week’s time to the central agency to file a reply to the public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, which seeks a CBI probe. Dabholkar was shot dead by unknown assailants in Pune on August 20, 2013.
At the last hearing, Pune police had submitted case diaries and confidential reports to the Court. After going through them, the judges today sought to know the status of the probe, and asked CBI what was its stand. While the CBI lawyer said it was considering taking over the probe, the state government said that so far the main conspirators had not been arrested, and those who were arrested got bail.
Dabholkar’s daughter, Mukta, who has been allowed to intervene, said the family wanted the HC to monitor the probe. She had earlier demanded formation of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) as police were not making any headway.
She had said that her family felt need for precaution against political interference in the investigation, in view of the ongoing elections. Tirodkar had earlier sought a probe by the National Investigation Agency, but later he amended his plea, to seek a CBI probe. According to the Pune police, there is no evidence suggesting involvement of right-wing extremists in the killing, contrary to Tirodkar’s contention.