The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions concerning investigation into murders of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Kolhapur-based communist leader Govind Pansare.
At a time when people across India are protesting against rapes in Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, the Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday said “India seems to be nothing but a country of crimes and rapes”, The Hindustan Times reports
“Today, when senior-most executives of the country go abroad, they are confronted with questions as to whether like-minded, liberal thinking, secular individuals are safe in India,” said a division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice Bharati Dangre. “Today, nobody from the outside world wants to be part of our educational and cultural set-up,” said the bench, adding, “Are we going to live in a cocoon?”
The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions concerning investigation into murders of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Kolhapur-based communist leader Govind Pansare. Dr Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, while Pansare was shot at in Kolhapur on February 16, 2015 and succumbed to his injuries four days later. While the CBI is probing Dabholkar’s murder, a special investigating team led by the additional superintendent of police of Kolhapur is investigating Pansare’s murder.
The judges were peeved to note the investigation in both the cases has almost reached a dead-end, although the police got information that the absconding accused in Pansare case were seen in a North-Eastern state.
Senior advocate Ashok Mundargi, who represented the state, however, maintained the SIT investigation has not reached a dead end. He said there was no laxity and police were trying their best, but unfortunately they haven’t succeeded. He said field investigation has not led the team anywhere and therefore the efforts are now concentrated on scientific investigation, primarily tracking down call data records.
The bench said their only concern was that these cases should not meet the “same fate” as some cases in the past. “It should not happen, as in the other cases wherein the prime accused has offered to return 40 years after the bomb blast, aged and completely tired.”
The judges felt the agencies will not get any result unless they “outsmart” the accused. “You are not bereft of ideas, these cases should not meet the same fate,” said the bench, warning that they will have to summon senior officials from the state police force and CBI, if the agencies failed to progress in investigation on the next hearing on June 28.