Armed with a recent Supreme Court order exonerating Vinayak Damodar Savarkar of any role in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, a Mumbai resident has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect his name from being misused or dragged into any further controversy.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Pankaj Phadnis, a researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, said since a clean chit has been given by the top court’s March 28 judgement, there was a need to include Savarkar’s name in the Schedule to Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950 so that there cannot be any insinuation made against him.
So far under the Act, the names of only Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Chhatrapati Shivaji are included.
Phadnis, who had filed a petition seeking reinvestigation into the assassination of Gandhi, has in his letter quoted the findings of the apex court judgement, which he said exonerated Savarkar from false and motivated allegations of being complicit in the murder.
He said the apex court had gone into details of the false allegations that were hurled at “this great revolutionary for last fifty years.”
Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 in the compound of Birla House, a large mansion in Lutyen’s Delhi.
He released the letter to the media on Monday, on the day when Savarkar was born in 1883, marking his 135th birth anniversary.
Phadnis said the judgement “demolishes the theory by anti-Savarakar lobby which has thus far held that acquittal of Savarkar by criminal court was overturned by J L Kapoor Commission”.
The petition filed by Phadnis in the top court had raised questions about the investigation into Gandhi’s murder suggesting whether it was one of the biggest cover-ups in history and also whether there was any basis to blame Savarkar for his death.
He had claimed that the Justice J L Kapur Commission of Inquiry set up in 1966 had not been able to unearth the entire conspiracy that culminated in the killing of the Father of the Nation.
Phadnis had also questioned the three bullet theory relied upon by various courts of law to hold the conviction of accused, including Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, who were hanged to death on November 15, 1949, while Savarkar was given the benefit of doubt due to lack of evidence.
Dealing with his petition, the apex court had noted that “There is no doubt that this (Kapoor’s) finding does not in any way interfere with the acquittal and is a general observation probably made since Godse and others were found to have been associated with Savarkar. It cannot have the effect of overturning the finding of the criminal court which acquitted Savarkar”.
Citing the findings of the apex court, Phadnis in his letter to the Prime Minister said,”may I humbly submit that a lasting tribute to Savarkar shall be inclusion of his name in the Schedule to Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950. You may therefore kindly consider the same.