Home NATION Bombay HC reprimands Maharashtra CM over delay in Untangling Pansare Murder Case,...

Bombay HC reprimands Maharashtra CM over delay in Untangling Pansare Murder Case, Government Advocate Responds

The CID's lawyer, Ashok Mundargi, told the court that the CID has doubled the strength of the Special Investigation team (SIT) in investigating the Govind Pansare case. There are 35 officers in the team now, he said. However, the bench termed these as “knee-jerk reactions”

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The Bombay High Court expressed unhappiness over the pace of investigations taking place into the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and leftist leader Govind Pansare. The bench consisting of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and BP Colabawala said, “It is shameful that almost every investigation requires the court’s intervention.”

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the Narendra Dabholkar killing case whereas the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the Govind Pansare killing case.

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“What is the CM doing?” the court asked, slamming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. “He holds 11 portfolios, including Home, but does not find the time to take stock of the case. His deputies do not have the time to remove obstacles in the probe?” the court added.

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The court also observed that a political leader belonged to the state and not just any party. “It is a sovereign function and cannot be outsourced,” observed the court.

The CID’s lawyer, Ashok Mundargi, told the court that the CID has doubled the strength of the Special Investigation team (SIT) in investigating the Govind Pansare case. There are 35 officers in the team now, he said.

“Top officers have reviewed the case thoroughly recently. Five meetings have been conducted in the past few months, and the reward announced for any information on the absconding accused has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh,” said the Mundargi in his reply to the justices.

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However, the bench termed these as “knee-jerk reactions” and said, “We are not impressed. You think people will come forward to help you for money? Of all you know, they might be earning more for keeping quiet.”

The court referred to the activist – journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case while expressing it’s displeasure over nearly every case requiring court’s intervention for the investigation. “It is shameful and we should not be saying this but, if that unfortunate incident in Karnataka [killing of Lankesh] had not happened and you [Maharashtra authorities] had not coordinated with Karnataka police, you would have remained clueless,” the court said.

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The CBI counsel, Anil Singh, told the court that the agency had already identified shooters in the Dabholkar case and filed the chargesheets. But the counsel sought some more time to work on extra information that he received from the Karnataka Police.

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The court has now granted both the agencies time till April 26 for further investigation in both the cases.

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Narendra Dabholkar was murdered on August 20, 2013, while he was out on a morning walk. He was shot down by two unidentified gunmen in Maharashtra’s Pune. Meanwhile, Govind Pansare was shot five times by 2 men who were on a motorcycle on February 16, 2015.

Pansare and his wife were returning from their morning walk when they were shot. While Pansare succumbed to his injuries on February 20, 2015, his wife was released from the hospital later in March.

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