Mumbai: The Bombay high court came down heavily on the state government on Friday asking when the investigating agencies would complete its probe into the Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare murder case. The court was told that a local court in Pune had granted bail to three men who were accused in the murder of Dabholkar.
The court has directed both the CBI and the SIT to submit their further progress reports by January 17 next year.
A division bench of Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharti Dangre was hearing a plea filed by the kin of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking the court to monitor the probes into both killings.
On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted a progress report before the court. The bench noted that in the previous reports by the CBI, the agency had named some persons belonging to a right-wing group and said that action would be taken against them.
However, in the report submitted on Friday, the CBI told the court that it required more ‘prosecutable evidence’ against those persons as its previous findings were merely based on other accused’s statements.
“This leads us to ask the CBI if there is any deliberate attempt to dilute, slow down or tone down its probe against some persons,” the bench said. “Ensure that there is no dilution. Whoever the person is, he is not mightier than the law,” the court added.
However, the CBI, through additional solicitor general Anil Singh, submitted that it wasn’t trying to dilute its probe in any manner. “Appropriate action will be taken against all the accused. We are only trying to gather adequate evidence to avoid any possible setbacks for the prosecution,” Mr Singh told the court.
The court also directed both agencies to abide by all statutory time limits on filling of chargesheets in the case to ensure that the accused were not granted any benefits owing to procedure lapses by the prosecution.
Abhay Nevagi, the lawyer for the petitioners, told the bench that three persons accused in the Dabholkar case Amol Kale, Rajesh Bangar, and Amit Degwekar had been granted bail by a Pune court this morning. But the CBI was yet to file its chargesheet against them, he added.