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Bombay HC slams CBI, SIT for slow Narendra Dabholkar probe | India News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday came down heavily on CBI and the special investigation team (SIT) of the state police for the delay in investigations into the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, pointing out that it was over seven years since the murder.
On being told that trial has commenced in Karnataka where the murders of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh occurred much later, a bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale responded with scathing comments.
“These are undisputed facts. The incident is of 2013. We are in 2021. Incidents in Karnataka took place after the incident in our state. Trial has commenced in Karnataka. Why not here? Incident is similar.”
The HC is monitoring the probe into the killings of Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 and CPI leader Govind Pansare on February 20, 2015 on a plea by their families.
The matter was last heard in February 2020. It came up for the first time before a new bench to which it has been specially assigned. Advocate Abhay Nevagi, for the families, said it was Maharashtra ATS that found a link in all the four cases.
Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30, 2015, while Lankesh was assassinated on September 5, 2017. He said while CBI had filed three chargesheets against four accused in the Dabholkar case, the SIT has made “zero” progress in Pansare’s case.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh for CBI said, “we have done what we were supposed to do” and added that Thane creek was searched with expert help for the murder weapon which was not found. He sought time to file a fresh status report.
Prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh, for SIT, also said a status report will be submitted. The judges said they wanted a “concrete statement” at the next hearing. “Otherwise we’ll not spare anybody,” said Justice Shinde, adding, “you may say this court is making such a harsh observation.”



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