The Bombay High Court on Thursday gave six weeks to the Central Bureau of Investigation to get forensic reports from the United Kingdom's Scotland Yard in connection with the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Communist Party of India leader Govind Pansare and scholar MM Kalburgi. The agency had sent samples of bullets and cartridges they found at the crime scenes, reported dna.
The court said, “We have given you time since May 2016 to obtain the forensic reports and we are not inclined to give you time after the next hearing.” The court will hear the matter next on November 23. Sources told The Indian Express that the process of getting the reports were delayed because it involved sanctions from various governments – Dabholkar was murdered in Pune, Pansare in Kolhapur, Kalburgi in Dharwad, Karnataka. The families of the victims had approached the high court seeking quicker investigations.
On Thursday, the court had asked the CBI to ensure that the identities of the witnesses in the case do not get leaked to the media that might compromise their safety and security. The bench also pulled up the Special Investigation Team for revealing probe details into the murder of Pansare. The court said, "This over-enthusiasm has to stop. What you are gathering should be in the shape of evidence, which will stand test to cross examination in the trial court. Or else, benefit will be derived by the accused." It added that divulging details when the court monitored the investigation also "alerts the absconding accused".
The ballistics report confirmed that the same weapon was used to assassinate Dabholkar and Pansare, according to the CBI. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti chief Virendra Tawde's black Honda Splendor motorcycle was used for the recce and execution of both the crimes. The CBI has also arrested a Sanathan Sanstha member in connection with Dabholkar's murder.