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HC asks Maha govt to expedite probe in Pansare murder case

bombay high court

Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government to expedite further investigations by the state CID into the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare.

A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and V L Achilya has been hearing petitions seeking probe by independent agencies into the murders of Pansare and another rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

The CBI is probing the role of right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha in the murder of Dabholkar while the state CID is investigating the killing of Pansare.

“There appears to be a good coordination between the investigating agencies probing the murder of Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar,” the bench observed today while asking the authorities to speed up probe in Pansare murder case.

Arguing on behalf of Pansare’s family, lawyer Abhay Nevgi informed the court that charges are likely to be framed against the accused, Sameer Gaikwad, on March 8.

Gaikwad, an activist of right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, was arrested in September last year in connection with the murder of Pansare.

Maharashtra CID had earlier told the court it had filed charge sheet against Gaikwad, the only arrested accused in the Pansare murder case, and further probe was underway as other accused were yet to be arrested.

The high court judges today asked how can charges be framed if investigations are still going on.

The bench asked the prosecution to make an application in the trial court praying to defer the framing of charges, as investigations were in progress.

Earlier, dissatisfied by the probe, the family of Pansare had moved the High Court following which it had ordered a CID investigation into the murder.

The high court is also hearing another petition filed by Dabholkar’s family and had earlier ordered a CBI probe into the rationalist’s killing.

Both the petitions are being heard jointly by the bench.

The CBI had earlier this month informed the high court it was considering to take a third opinion on the weapon used in the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, M M Kalburgi and Pansare, after Bengaluru and Mumbai forensic labs differed on the issue.

While the Bengaluru-based forensic science laboratory (FSL) was of the opinion that different weapons were used in the murders, the Kalina FSL in Mumbai said that the weapon used in all the three cases were the same.

Advocate Nevgi, appearing for the kin of both Dabholkar and Pansare, had on last occasion sought the probe in both the cases to be transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The court, however, noted that CBI was in touch with NIA, and hence there was no need to hand over probe to the latter at this stage.

Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013. Pansare was shot at in Kolhapur by assailants on February 16, 2015. He succumbed to his injuries three days later in Mumbai.

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