Even as several organisations across the country have demanded a CBI probe into the August 20 killing of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, the Bombay High Court Friday questioned the central agency’s honesty in carrying out investigations into the murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Satish Shetty who was murdered in 2010.
On January 13, 2010, Shetty was murdered in Pune, after which the Bombay High Court initiated suo motu action in the case. Shetty’s brother had sought a CBI probe.
The CBI, which took over the probe on July 9, 2010, had moved the High Court challenging the ‘C’ summary report filed by the local crime branch, Pune (Rural) in a complaint filed by the slain RTI activist against Aryan Infrastructure and Investment. The report was accepted by the Judicial Magistrate (First class) in Vadgaon on December 27, 2011.
On Friday, Justice M L Tahaliyani told the CBI that reopening the case lodged by Shetty would not help them as nothing prevents them from making an independent inquiry into it. “They (CBI) are just killing time and are not honest with the investigation,” Justice Tahaliyani observed. He told the CBI that instead of focusing on reopening of the complaint lodged by Shetty, it is crucial that the agency finds eyewitnesses in the case.
The ‘C’ summary report said the complaint was filed by Shetty “under misunderstanding.” Shetty had filed a complaint against the developer under various IPC sections, including cheating and forgery, and said three sale deeds were executed to sell MSRDC land in Pune to the developers that were cancelled before the registration of the complaint.
“Even after the C (summary) report, the case is not closed. You (CBI) are not prevented from taking a different view and filing a chargesheet in the case,” the judge remarked.
On August 13, following the High Court’s direction, prosecutor Swapnil Pednekar had submitted an affidavit of assistant police inspector Sunil Tonape saying that after perusing the entire material collected during investigation, police had concluded that no offence was disclosed in the the complaint lodged by Shetty on October 15, 2009. Shetty’s complaint had led to 13 persons being booked, of whom two had been arrested and one had sought anticipatory bail.
On Friday, opposing the CBI’s plea against the ‘C’ summary report, prosecutor Deepak More told the court that the local crime branch, Pune rural would produce their case diaries to support