The Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the petitions filed to seek a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the lynching of two persons at Palghar was an attempt to derive “political capital” from the incident, The Hindu reported.
Petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court by sadhus of “Shri Panch Dashnam Juna Akhara’’ and relatives of the deceased priests. They have demanded a CBI probe. Another application was filed by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, calling for a National Investigation Agency-monitored inquiry. The Maharashtra Police have opposed the CBI inquiry.
“We don’t understand how Article 32 petitions are still pending,” advocate R Basant said for the Maharashtra government. “They are making political capital of these Article 32 petitions.” Article 32 of the Indian Constitution gives individuals the right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their rights.
Basant said that two crimes have been registered – one against the mob for murder, in which 126 persons have been charged – and the second against police officers who were at the scene of the crime. “We think some of them ought to have acted better,” Basant said. “They have been punished with compulsory retirement and/or other disciplinary actions.”
The court gave the petitioners two weeks to file their replies to the submissions of the Maharashtra government.
The Maharashtra Police had informed the Supreme Court last month that it has punished 18 of its personnel for dereliction of duties after a departmental inquiry was initiated into the Palghar lynching case. On August 6, the top court had directed the state to file an affidavit about the action taken against the police officers allegedly involved in the incident.
On April 16, three Mumbai residents, who were on their way to Silvassa, were lynched by local residents in Gadakchinchale village of Palghar district on the suspicion that they were thieves. A large mob of villagers had surrounded the car of the three men and started attacking them with sticks and iron rods, leading to their deaths. Two of the victims were sadhus from Mumbai’s Kandivali suburb, and the third was their driver.