The court observed that the SIT, while tracing two absconding accused, had questioned the relatives.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has pulled up the state government over the slow pace of the Govind Pansare murder investigation. The court has directed the additional chief secretary, home, to be present before it on March 28. The court also suggested that the CBI and state police change their traditional manner of investigation.
A division bench of Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari and Justice B.P. Colabawala was irked after reading a progress report, submitted in a sealed cover by the Maharashtra CID’s Special Investigation Team, in the Pansare case. The court observed that the SIT, while tracing two absconding accused, had questioned the relatives.
The SIT submitted in the report that one of the absconding accused owned an immoveable property in the state and, therefore, the SIT visited the place to trace his whereabouts.
The court, expressing its displeasure on the probe, said that the SIT must realise that four years since the crime was committed, it was unlikely that the accused would stay somewhere within the state, let alone close to the crime spot. “What stops them from going and hiding anywhere across the country? Merely because someone owns property doesn’t mean he will stick around in that area. The accused can seek shelter anywhere in the country. The elementary steps you are taking to nab the accused have reduced you to a laughing stock,” the bench said.
“Because of you, the public has a perception that some people can get away and remain uninvestigated only because they enjoy certain patronage,” it said. The bench said that a “progressive state” such as Maharashtra must feel proud of its thinkers. “The state can’t be a silent spectator. This is not a movie that you (police) come after everything is over. And if you (politicians) can’t protect your people, then do not contest elections,” it said.