The Bombay high court on Thursday expressed surprise at the failure of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Maharashtra Crime Investigation Department in obtaining a ballistics report from Karnataka CID which reportedly shows a link between the murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Kannada scholar writer M M Kalburgi.
A division bench of Justices R V More and V L Achiliya was informed that the Maharashtra CID, which is probing Pansare case and the CBI, which is investigating the Dabholkar case, had last year handed over bullets and empty bullet shells to the Karnataka CID which is probing the Kalburgi murder case. The objective was to ascertain possible links between three cases.
Advocate Abhay Nevgi, appearing for the family members of Dabholkar and Pansare, said on Thursday that, as per the media reports, the Forensic Science Laboratory in Bengaluru had claimed that the bullets recovered from the crime spots in these three cases were fired from the same weapon.
CBI lawyer Anil Singh and public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde (for the CID) told the court that senior officers from both the agencies had written to the director general of Karnataka CID for ballistics report, but it was yet to come.
"Are you pursuing it? How can an agency like CBI which falls under the Centre cannot procure the report? We are surprised that the CBI is making such a grievance. We are surprised that Karnataka CID is not cooperating with a prime agency like CBI," the high court said.
"We direct the Maharashtra DGP and the CBI’s director to take up the issue with the Karnataka DGP and the DG-CID and see to it that the reports are made available at the earliest," the HC said.
Non-cooperation from the Karnataka CID was hampering the probe, the judges noted.
The Maharashtra CID told the court it had filed a chargesheet against Sameer Gaikwad, the only arrested accused in the Pansare murder case, and further probe was underway as other accused were yet to be arrested.
The court later adjourned the hearing for three weeks.