Chargesheet in a month in Dabholkar murder case: CBI

Narendra Dabholkar

The CBI on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it will file a charge sheet against advocate Sanjeev Punalekar and his assistant Vikram Bhave, accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, within a month.

Punalekar is accused of assisting Sharad Kalaskar, one of the alleged assailants in the case, in destroying the guns used in the killing.

Bhave has been charged with helping Kalaskar and another accused in conducting reconnaissance of the area where Dabholkar was shot dead.

CBI counsel Anil Singh told a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel that their search operation for the weapons used in the killing was still on.

"The search operation is likely to be completed within two weeks. Soon after that the charge sheet will be filed," Singh told the court.

The court was hearing petitions filed by families of Dabholkar and rationalist Govind Pansare seeking its supervision in the probe being carried out by the CID and the CBI.

Dabholkar, a well-known anti-superstition activist, was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune.

Pansare was shot on February 16, 2015, near his house in Kolhapur in western Maharashtra. He died four days later.

On Monday, after the bench perused probe reports submitted by the CBI and the special investigation team of the state CID, advocate Abhay Nevagi, appearing for Pansare's family, sought a change in the investigation agency.

"The time has come for change in the investigation agency. The present agency (CID) has carried out a shabby investigation. The concerned officers have sat on key material available with them since over a year," Nevagi said.

The bench said it cannot consider such oral requests and the family could file an application to this effect.

"Once the application is filed, we shall consider the same," it said.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on November 22.

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