The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court opposing the demand for a fresh investigation into the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty. His brother had filed a petition to reopen the case. The matter will come up for hearing on February 17.
Unidentified persons had attacked Shetty with sharp weapons and murdered him around 7 am on January 13, 2010 near Hari Om Dairy at Talegaon Dabhade. Police investigated the case of murder of Shetty who was a resident of Kala Niwas, Panchvati Colony in Talegaon Dabhade. The CBI that took over investigations in September 2010 filed a closure report on August 11, 2014.
The RTI activist’s brother Sandeep Shetty moved the HC to quash the closure report and direct CBI to reopen the case. In reply, Sushil Pratap Singh, Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI, filed an affidavit stating “legal difficulties” came in the way of filing charge-sheet against any suspect.
Petitioner Sandeep said, “CBI affidavit is dated November 24, 2014. We were not served notice. We got a copy of the affidavit recently. The CBI affidavit substantiates the demand of a reinvestigation… there were startling facts that could have been probed further by arresting the accused persons. The hearing will be on February 17.”
Sandeep alleged that the CBI team worked under pressure and therefore did not make arrests. Sandeep claims to have recorded an audio of his conversation with CBI investigation officer, before filing closure report.
“Soon, I will submit the audio recording and a transcript of the conversation, in HC. The officer told me he had passed instructions to arrest the suspects. The officer put the blame on seniors’ greed for money…,” he said.
In its affidavit, CBI stated that Sandeep being brother of the deceased had free access to the investigation officer. It states that leads given by Sandeep were investigated carefully to get clues about the killers. The CBI claimed there was no pressure on the investigating officer who had investigated the case in a fair manner. The closure report was filed because sufficient prosecutable evidence did not come on record during investigation.
Initially, a Pune rural police team led by inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar of the local crime branch (LCB) arrested six persons in the case, including advocate Vijay Dabhade citing an old dispute with the RTI activist. Satish’s family said past disputes between him and Dabhade had been settled.
Meanwhile, CBI is probing an alleged land scam in Kamshet area, exposed by Satish. An offence was registered at Lonavla city police station against IRB chairman and managing director Virendra Mhaiskar and 12 others including government officials on October 15, 2009. On November 24, 2009, Satish filed an application with rural police seeking protection as he had received threats. On January 13, 2010, he was murdered.
In March 2010, Sandeep filed an affidavit with the Bombay High Court that police had failed to pursue those named by Satish Shetty in his protection application. He said rural police focused on Dabhade and filed a closure report (C summary) in the land scam case in December 2011.
On August 8, 2014, CBI moved HC against the closure report filed by rural police. CBI sought permission to reopen the case saying it may be linked to Shetty murder. After three days, on August 11, 2014, CBI filed a closure report.
The CBI affidavit mentions that it examined about 500 persons and conducted polygraph test on 36. CBI states it recovered a Koyta (sharp weapon) from the residence of Andhalkar and a sword, a koyta and a sickle from the residence of suspect Kishor Bhegade. But, CBI mentions that no direct or indirect or circumstantial evidence against any suspect including Mhaiskar was recovered and suspicion alone was not enough to carry the case forward.