Unhappy with the delay, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation and Maharashtra-Special Investigation Team to complete their probes soon into the killing rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and communist leader Govind Pansare and asked the central agency to arrest a suspect within ten days.
The division bench asked the agencies to obtain within eight weeks the reports of forensic science laboratory of Scotland Yard on evidence in the murder cases of Dabholkar, Pansare and scholar M M Kalburgi as it felt that enough time had been lost in obtaining the opinion of a foreign lab.
“If the investigations do not conclude fast, it might give an impression to the people at large that you do not want to arrest certain people,” said Justice S C Dharmadhikari, who headed the bench.
“These are very sensitive cases in which well known social workers and activists have been killed,” he said, adding the agency should complete probe in a reasonable timeframe.
During investigation, the CBI had noticed a pattern in the killings which indicated that the same group might have been involved as the weapons used in the crime were similar. Hence, the agency had sent bullets and empty cartridges it recovered for forensic analysis.
The CBI, probing the Dabholkar killing, and the Maharashtra SIT, investigating the Pansare killing, on Thursday submitted fresh reports on the probe in a sealed cover which were perused by both the judges.
The bench noted that the CBI report had talked about a suspect in Dabholkar murder case. In this regard, Justice Dharmadhikari asked the CBI to arrest the suspect within ten days.
The court also asked the Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Home Ministry to coordinate with other departments to ensure that all permissions are in place for the CBI to obtain expeditiously the forensic reports from Scotland Yard so that they can be presented before it.
The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the families of Dabholkar and Pansare seeking monitoring of probes in both the cases by the high court.