Thursday, June 8, 2023

Supreme Court seeks affidavit from Maharashtra on transferring Palghar case probe to CBI

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The Supreme Court instructed the State of Maharashtra to file an affidavit in connection with referring the investigation into the 2020 Palghar Sadhu Lynching case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The Palghar case revolves around two sadhus travelling from Mumbai to Surat, who were stopped by a mob of over 200 people and consequently attacked.

The Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud was informed today that the State of Maharashtra had filed an affidavit saying that it had no objection to CBI investigation.

An affidavit was filed last year by the Government of Maharashtra through Ramkumar, Assistant Inspector General of Police (L&O), in the office of the Director General of Police, Mumbai, Maharashtra, which stated that the petitioners in the case have sought transfer of investigation to the CBI, for achieving an impartial and independent investigation in the matter.

The Affidavit further stated that the State of Maharashtra was ready and willing to hand over the investigation in C.R. No. 76/2020 and C.R. No. 77/2020 to the CBI and would have no objection to the same.

Justice Pardiwala questioned the state as to what was the status of investigation in the 20 odd FIRs filed in the case. 

The CJI also asked the Maharashtra Counsel as to why should they pass an order that it should be referred to CBI. He added that the court would simply list it on April 14, after the affidavit is filed.

The Supreme Court had received writ petitions after two sadhus, namely, Maharaj Kalpavriksha Giri @ Chikna Baba and Shri Sushil Giri Maharaj were attacked and lynched by a mob in Palghar.

The common prayer in all the writ petitions pertained to transfer of investigation to CBI, in order to conduct an independent and impartial investigation in the matter. the petitions alleged bias by the State authorities, who were investigating the matter.

Initially, the State of Maharashtra had opposed the plea, but has now changed its stance by saying that it has no objection to handing over the investigation to the CBI.

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