HC asks Maha govt why officers from outside Pune are probing Dabholkar murder

Mumbai:he Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over delay in the murder probe of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

“It’s been over two years and still there is no trace of the assailants. This is a serious matter and needs close monitoring,” observed a division bench consisting of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Rajesh Ketkar. The bench then directed the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) to file a status report by next week

Dabholkar was gunned down by motorcycle borne assailants on August 20, 2013, while on a morning walk. The HC had on May 9, 2014, transferred the probe from the crime branch (Pune) to the CBI on a PIL. Dabholkar’s daughter, Mukta (41), and son, Dr Hamid (37), said after two years investigating agencies, including the CBI, have failed to apprehend the culprits .Their advocate, Abhay Nevagi, told a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Rajesh Ketkar that on Dabholkar’s second death anniversary, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that the government would depute seven officers to assist the CBI.

Nevagi said at least two officers were from Yavatmal and Nagpur. “When are the seven going to assist the CBI? More than two years have passed. Where will we go if not come to the court?” he asked. He also said no progress had been made to trace the killers. “A sketch released matched with that of the accused in a Goa blast. But nothing happened,” said Nevagi.

The bench questioned why officers from “various places” were deputed. “They will be unable to coordinate investigations,” said Justice Ketkar. Justice More added, “This is important. If officers are deputed from Yavatmal and Nagpur, investigations will be delayed unnecessarily.” The judges directed the government to reply why it had not appointed officers from Pune.

The court directed the CBI to file its status report before the next hearing on September 9.

Report into Pansare murder case sought
The Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, also directed the State Government to file its status report into the investigations conducted in the Govind Pansare murder case. The left-wing politician was shot by unidentified assailants in Kolhapur.