The Bombay High Court today allowed the family of slain activist Narendra Dabholkar to intervene in a PIL seeking probe by CBI into his murder to find out whether Hindu right-wing members were involved in the crime. Dabholkar's daughter Mukta Dabholkar urged the court through her lawyer to allow the family to intervene in the matter.
Her lawyer informed that Mukta had given certain details about Dabholkar to Pune police probing the murder, but since the investigators did not look into them the kin of the slain rationalist wanted to intervene in the PIL.
A bench headed by Justice P V Hardas then asked the lawyer to file a written application seeking permission to intervene, and posted the matter after two weeks. Meanwhile, police submitted case diaries and progress report in a sealed cover to the court. However, the Judge asked them to produce these files on next occasion.
Last week, the court had issued notice to CBI after petitioner Ketan Tirodkar amended his petition to include the agency as a respondent instead of NIA. Tirodkar argued that NIA had restricted jurisdiction as it was involved only in cases of terror, while CBI has wider powers as it investigates serious crimes.
Dabholkar, who spearheaded the anti-superstition movement in Maharashtra, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013 while on morning walk. The police are still clueless about identity of his assailants.
Earlier, police had informed the court that there was no evidence suggesting the involvement of right-wing extremists in Dabholkar's killing. Police also said the deceased was not facing any threat and so there was no question of police preparing a perception report (prior to the murder) and monitoring his activities.
Police in their affidavit had termed as a 'figment of imagination' the petitioner's contention that the murder was the handiwork of right-wing extremists and said it was not supported by any factual evidence.
Police had also denied any political pressure and opposed transfer of the probe to NIA as the offence did not fall within the purview of NIA Act.
NIA too had taken a similar stand saying that it could not probe Dabholkar's murder as the offence fell under Indian Penal Code and was not covered by NIA Act.