PIL seeks new Commission to probe Gandhi's murder

Last Updated 26 May 2016, 12:53 IST

A public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court has sought appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to probe afresh the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in January, 1948 and the conspiracy behind it.

The PIL, filed by Dr Pankaj Phadnis, author, researcher and trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, has claimed that the then J L Kapur Commission of Inquiry had not been able to unearth the entire conspiracy that culminated in the killing of Gandhi.

According to the prosecution's story, the Father of the Nation was shot at by the assassin with a revolver which had seven compartments of bullets. Gandhi received three bullet injuries while the remaining four bullets were recovered by police from the weapon, says the petition.

However, the PIL alleged that Gandhi had received four bullet wounds on his person on January 30, 1948, when he was shot dead. In this regard, the petitioner has produced several media clippings to show that Gandhi had sustained four bullet injuries.

The PIL, slated to come up for hearing on June 6 before a bench headed by Chief Justice D H Waghela, said that the new Commission of Inquiry should conduct a probe to find out who had fired the fourth shot and to establish whether there was any other assassin besides Nathuram Godse.

The Commission should also find out whether the motive of the murder was to cause enmity between the people of India and Pakistan by sabotaging the Gandhi-Jinnah reconciliation project of 'reviving people-to-people contact'.

The PIL claimed that Gandhi was slated to visit Pakistan to revive people-to-people contact. However, he was shot dead prior to his departure for the neighbouring country.

The PIL also said the Commission of Inquiry should conduct a probe to find out whether any person in the world -- other than those accused in the Gandhi murder trial-- had prior information of the conspiracy or had participated in such a conspiracy.

The petition also alleged that the Kapur Commission had made certain adverse observations or findings against Veer Savarkar implying or imputing that he was involved in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

Savarkar was acquitted as an accused during the murder trial and hence these adverse findings should be expunged or removed, the PIL demanded.

Inspired by Veer Savarkar, Abinav Bharat, Mumbai, was set up in 2001 to work for socially and economically weaker with focus on bridging digital divide.

The PIL has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking deregistration of Abhinav Bharat, Pune, with which the Mumbai Trust has no connection whatsoever.

 This petition has been admitted by the high court, according to the petitioner, Dr Pankaj Phadnis.   

(Published 26 May 2016, 12:53 IST)

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