The Supreme Court has sought responses of the CBI, NIA and the governments of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka on a petition by slain Kannada writer M M Kalburgi’s wife. She has demanded that a probe by a Special Investigation Team, headed by a retired judge of the apex court or High Court, be conducted into the “conspiracy” behind the rationalists’ murder.
“Issue notice, fixing a returnable date within six weeks,” a bench of CJI Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said while hearing the Umadevi M Kalburgi’s petition.
Professor Kalburgi was shot dead by unidentified assailants on August 30, 2015 at his residence in Dharwad in Karnataka. The petition contended that there was no progress in the murder probe and the case was in a “sorry state.”
“Even after two years, there is no progress in the investigation… The investigation requires involvement of three states, and central agencies like CBI, NIA. Therefore, this is an exceptional case indispensably necessitating intervention of the SC under Article 32 of the Constitution of India,” the petitioner said.
Umadevi cited the murder cases of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, claiming that there were similarities in the murders. She said that in 2016, then Karnataka Home Minister had claimed that forensic analysis of the cartridges recovered from the three separate crimes scenes suggested links between them.
Dabholkar was shot at on August 20, 2013 in Pune while Pansare was killed in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015.
Umadevi also referred to media reports about the former Karnataka Home Minister’s statement that the main suspect in Kalburgi’s murder was hiding outside the country.