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Bombay HC questions trial delay in Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare cases

Bombay HC was hearing petitions filed by families of Dabholkar and Pansare, seeking court supervision in the investigation being carried out in the two cases

Bombay HC questions trial delay in Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare cases
SHARES


On Thursday, Bombay High Court (HC) expressed concern over the delay in the commencement of trial in murder cases of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and activist Govind Pansare. Bombay High Court stated that there should not be a “failure” in the delivery of justice. A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla pointed out that it had been seven years since Dabholkar was shot dead and five years since Pansare was killed.

The court observed that while CID and CBI are still conducting an investigation in regard to the absconding accused in the Pansare case and recovery of weapon used in the killing of Dabholkar, the trial should commence at the earliest against those arrested.

The bench said,

“There should be some certainty (about the trial). There should be no failure of justice delivery, both for the victims and their families and also the arrested accused since they also have fundamental rights.”

Bombay HC was hearing petitions filed by families of Dabholkar and Pansare, seeking court supervision in the investigation being carried out in the two cases. The Dabholkar murder case is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) whereas the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is probing the Pansare case.  The crimes happened in 2013 and 2015, the bench noted.

“What is at stake here is the very credibility of the criminal justice delivery system. People should not lose complete faith in the system,” the bench said.

The bench added further that it would not be proper to delay the commencement of trial. It said that the arrested accused persons might also raise questions about their rights. The bench directed the CBI and the state CID to inform the high court on March 24 by when the trial would commence in the two cases.

After which, the CBI counsel Anil Singh informed the bench that the search operation for the murder weapon in the Dabholkar case would complete within a month. On the other hand, CID counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that they are conducting a look-out for the absconding accused in the case.

Dabholkar, a well-known anti-superstition activist, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, during his morning walk. Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015, near his house in Kolhapur in western Maharashtra. He died four days later.

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