SC asks K'taka SIT to take over Kalburgi murder case

SC asks K'taka SIT to take over Kalburgi murder case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka SIT, which investigated the Gauri Lankesh murder case, should take over the probe into the killing of rationalist M M Kulburgi in 2015 in Dharwad.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran directed that the Karnataka High Court's Dharwad bench should monitor the probe.

The court, however, sought status report within four weeks in sealed cover case of murders of Comrade Govind Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Additional Advocate General Devadatt Kamat submitted the SIT which investigated Gauri Lankesh case and filed a charge sheet, should be allowed to take over the Kalburgi case.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal contended there are similarities and some link in four murders. A few accused were involved in the Goa blasts case as well.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing Maharashtra, said the affidavit by the state should be taken on record.

The court had earlier sought to know if there was a "common thread" in murder cases of Communist leader Pansare and rationalist Dabholkar in Maharashtra, and Kannada writer Kalburgi and journalist-activist Gauri in Karnataka.

In Dabholkar's case, the CBI had already filed a charge sheet in a Pune Court. In the case of Pansare, five persons have been arrested and the matter was pending before a court in Kolhapur.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Uma Devi Kalburgi.

Umadevi, in her plea, drew a parallel between Kalburgi's murder and killings of Dabholkar and Comrade Pansare in Maharashtra and sought a SIT probe by a retired SC judge or a high court judge.

She urged the top court to monitor the probe till it reached its logical conclusion as there was no progress into investigation conducted so far by the Karnataka police.