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Dabholkar-Pansare murder: HC tells CBI to get reports from Scotland Yard

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to obtain within eight weeks the reports of forensic science laboratory of Scotland Yard on evidence in the murder cases of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, communist leader Govind Pansare and scholar M M Kalburgi.

The court 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 CBI to obtain expeditiously the forensic reports from Scotland Yard.

While Dabholkar and Pansare were killed at different places in Maharashtra, Kalburgi was shot dead in Karnataka.

A division bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari set the time frame of eight weeks as it felt that enough time had been lost in obtaining the opinion of a foreign lab.

The court has asked the CBI to procure the reports and present them before it.

The bench is 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.

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 sent bullets and empty cartridges it has recovered for forensic analysis.

The CBI, probing the Dabholkar killing, and Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Maharashtra, investigating the Pansare killing, on Thursday submitted fresh reports on the probe.

The reports were presented to the court in a sealed cover by Additional Solicitor General (for CBI) and government pleader Mankunwar Deshmukh (for SIT), and 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 CBI to arrest the suspect within ten days.

“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,” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

Dabholkar was killed in Pune on August 20, 2013, while was shot on February 16, 2015, in Kolhapur. He succumbed to his injuries four days later. Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30 last year at his residence in Dharwad district of Karnataka by two unidentified men. The CBI and CID have been submitting periodical progress reports of their probe to the HC.

PTI

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