(G.N.S) Dt. 10
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine a plea made by the wife of Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awardee and anti-superstition activist Professor MM Kalburgi for a co-ordinated probe by a special investigation team supervised by a retired judge of the High Court or the Supreme Court into the murder of her husband.
Mr. Kalburgi was shot dead in August 2015 at his Bengaluru residence in broad daylight.
The murder, Ms. Umadevi said, “left every right-minded person in society shell-shocked” and should not go unpunished.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued notice to the Union, NIA, CBI, State government of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, and asked them to respond in six weeks.
Ms. Umadevi argued that the Karnataka Police investigation has meandered over the past three years despite assurances from the State that the “biggest manhunt” by the State C.I.D. is underway.
She believes that the same organisation and the very same shooters behind the murders of activists Govind Pansare on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra and Dr. Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 in Pune are behind her husband’s murder on August 30, 2015.
“All three were abused, threatened by certain sections of the society,” Ms. Umadevi said.
Ms. Umadevi, represented by advocates Krishan Kumar and Abhya Nevagi, submitted that the very same weapon used in the death of Mr. Pansare was used to kill Kalburgi. She alleged the same shooters may be involved in the Goa bomb blasts of 2009 and may have already fled the country.
In her writ petition, she asked the Supreme Court to use its extraordinary constitutional powers to order an investigation by a special team of the Karnataka Police under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge. She said the investigation was in a sorry state.
Ms. Umadevi urged the apex court that since the three murders are inter-connected, a direction should be passed to the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and the CBI and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct a co-ordinated probe into the Kalburgi murder.
She fears the probe into her husband’s murder would “casually drift towards its conclusion with the possibility of the offenders going unpunished”.
“Every offence is a crime against the society and is unpardonable, yet there are some species of ghastly, revolting and villainous violations of the invaluable right to life which leaves all sensible and right–minded persons of the society shell-shocked and traumatised in the body and soul,” Ms. Umadevi said.
The petition alleged that the NIA has been seeking the arrest of the shooters in both the murders of Dr. Dabholkar and Mr. Pansare and the Goa bomb blasts case. The bomb blasts were investigated by the NIA. However only some of the accused were tried, and the trial had led to their acquittal. Meanwhile, the Goa government, she alleged, is “sitting quietly on the spacious plea that the probe is with the NIA”.
(G.N.S) Dt. 10