The CBI in September chargesheeted Dr Virendra Tawde, allegedly associated with Sanatan Sanstha, in the Dabholkar case.
Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday moved an application in the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the trial in the August 2013 Narendra Dabholkar murder case in a Pune court. The CBI is likely to mention the application before the court on Friday, seeking a stay on grounds including the fact that it is yet to get the expert opinion of UK’s New Scotland Yard on the case’s ballistic samples.
A senior CBI officer told this paper on Thursday: “Yes, the CBI has moved the Bombay High Court today, seeking a stay on the Dabholkar case’s trial. The prayer’s grounds will be submitted to the court.”
According to the CBI source, the agency seeks Scotland Yard’s opinion on the case’s ballistic samples to ascertain whether a single firearm was allegedly used to kill Dabholkar and two other rationalists of Karnataka and Maharashtra – Kannada scholar M.M. Kalburgi (August 2015) and Govind Pansare (February 2015) – by members of a right-wing group.
The ballistic samples under the scanner, whose dispatch to the UK-based police agency has been delayed since June despite taking permissions from the three cases’ trial courts, include cartridges used to kill Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi. According to CBI sources, the delay in sending the ballistic samples to the UK agency is due to procedural reasons related to “trans-national movement of bullets and a firearm” and the requirement to seek authorisations the Indian external affairs and home ministries.
The CBI in September chargesheeted Dr Virendra Tawde, allegedly associated with Sanatan Sanstha, in the Dabholkar case. Tawde has denied CBI’s charges. The Sanatan Sanstha has denied any link whatsoever with the case. The agency however is yet to nab two wanted case accused who allegedly shot dead Dabholkar and are yet to trace the motorbike used by them. “The arrest of the shooters and tracing of the bike is necessary for further probe in the Dabholkar case,” said the agency source.
Indian forensic laboratories had concluded that the three rationalists were killed with an identical weapon, a 7.65 mm pistol/s, but they differed on whether one weapon was used or more, the reason why Scotland Yard’s help is being sought. A forensic test conducted in a government-run laboratory in Bengaluru had concluded that two country-made pistols of 7.65 mm calibre were used to target Pansare, of which one each was used in the Dabholkar and Kalburgi cases.