A bench of Bombay High Court today recused itself from hearing a PIL seeking a probe by National Investigating Agency into the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune last year. "Not before me", said a bench headed by Justice N H Patil when the matter came up for hearing before the Judges.
However, the bench did not assign any reason for not hearing the PIL, filed by former scribe Ketan Tirodkar. It will now come up before another division bench.
Dabholkar, who spearheaded the anti-superstition movement in Maharashtra, was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune. The police is still clueless about identity of the culprits.
On last occasion, Pune Police informed the court that there was no evidence to suggest the alleged involvement of right-wing extremists in the murder of Dabholkar. The anti-superstition activist did not face any threat and so there was no question of police preparing any threat perception report (prior to the killing) and monitoring his activities etc.
The contention that the murder was the handiwork of right wing extremists was based only on presumptions or petitioner's own imagination which is not supported by any factual evidence, police had told the court in an affidavit.
Police had also handed over to the court two reports on investigation conducted so far in sealed covers to the division bench which, however, did not peruse them.
Police had taken a stand that the offence did not fall in the purview of National Investigation Agency Act and hence the probe should not be transferred to the Central Agency. It also denied that the team was under pressure from any political quarters.