The Bombay High Court on Thursday said that the investigating agencies probing the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare should not completely rely on the “clue and material” revealed in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.
A Division Bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice M S Karnik said, “…given the magnitude of the crimes in the state of Maharashtra, the state machinery and the CBI just cannot depend on the outcomes of the investigations carried out on the crime committed in the adjoining state, namely, the state of Karnataka.”
The bench added, “The unfortunate part is that in one state, the machinery gets full assistance, while in our state, either the machinery is not working or not getting cooperation, though the crime was first committed here.”
The court asked director of CBI and the state principal secretary to appear before it on February 6, the next date of hearing.
During the hearing, the CBI did not submit a progress report, while the state CID submitted a progress report before the bench. The CID told the court that it was questioning accused arrested by the Karnataka Police in the Lankesh murder case, to help trace the absconding accused in the Pansare case.
The bench then said that CBI and CID are only relying on the clue and material revealed in the probe conducted by the Karnataka Police against the arrested accused in Lankesh murder case.
“Depending on the nature of the information given (by Karnataka Police), the machinery in the Maharashtra state goes ahead, apprehends the same accused and tries to bring them to book in the crimes committed in the state of Maharashtra by establishing a common link… the two machineries have to work independently to trace out the accused in the crimes in the state…” the court said.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for CBI, told the court that the officers were doing their best to trace the absconding accused. Experts in the field have been chosen to investigate the murder, he added. Singh further said that some arrests have been made in both the cases and that they will file a chargesheet soon in the Dabholkar case.
The court was hearing petitions filed by the family members of Dabholkar and Pansare, seeking court supervision in probes conducted by the Centre and state agencies.