Mumbai, June 23 : Pulling up CBI for divulging to the media probe details in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, the Bombay High Court today warned the agency that it will not hesitate to direct disciplinary action against officers doing so and send them to jail. “Your (CBI) progress report is nothing but news reports. All this is already there in the public domain. How does the media come to know about the identity of witnesses in the case and where the agency is going to conduct searches. Everything is revealed to the media,” the court said. The stinging remarks against the premier probe agency came from a bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi while hearing a batch of petitions filed by the families of rationalist Dabholkar and slain communist leader and activist Govind Pansare seeking HC monitoring of both the investigations. Also Read: Narendra Dabholkar murder: CBI arresting Tawade ‘part of duty’, says Subramanian Swamy Also Read - Historic! Install CCTV in All Police Stations, CBI, NIA, ED, NCB, Including Interrogation Rooms: Supreme Court
“You will be ruining the entire probe if you conduct yourself in this fashion. Absconding accused in the case must be getting details pertaining to the probe from the media. Hats off to CBI,” the bench observed. “All this may seem trivial now, but they are very important lacunae when the trial is conducted. Tomorrow who is going to protect the witnesses and family members who are speaking freely to media these days. Some restraint and patience are required by the family members. This cheap publicity for everything is disgusting and it affects fair investigation and trial,” it said. The court warned that it will not hesitate to direct disciplinary action against the officer(s) concerned revealing investigation details and will put him in jail. Also Read - First Child-friendly Police Station Launched in Maharashtra's Pune
The bench sought to know from the Maharashtra government if it had decided to seek a CBI probe in the Pansare case as claimed by the lawyer of the family of the slain activist, even as the prosecutor said he had no such instruction. It also came down heavily on CID and CBI, probing the Pansare and Dabholkar cases respectively, for slow progress in the investigation. The Pansare family had approached the state government seeking a CBI probe in the matter and yesterday the government had given its consent, lawyer Abhay Nevgi, representing the family of the slain leader, told HC. However, Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde submitted that he does not have any instruction from the government on the issue. Also Read - Serum Institute to Seek 100 cr in Damages From Volunteer Who Said 'Covishield' Vaccine Left Him Unwell
The court then asked Shinde to find out if the government has decided to seek a CBI probe in the case, and if it has done so, then tell the court the reasons for it. While Dabholkar was killed in August 2013, Pansare was shot dead on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur. CBI and CID have been submitting periodical progress reports to HC. CBI had earlier said it was probing the role of right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha in the Dabholkar case.