Mumbai, Jun 12: The Bombay High Court has directed a Sessions court to defer framing of charges against Sameer Gaikwad, an alleged member of Sanatan Sanstha who is arrested in activist Govind Pansare murder case, as the prosecution is awaiting forensic report from the UK. The report is being awaited to establish if there was any link between the killings of Pansare, and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and M M Kalburgi. Justice Sadhana Jadhav on June 9 ordered the sessions court in Kolhapur, which is presently conducting trial against Gaikwad, to defer framing of charges against him.(Also Read: Narendra Dabholkar murder case: Virendra Tawde’s arrest is attempt to defame Hindu outfits, says Sanatan Sanstha) Also Read - Gauri Lankesh case: Sanatan Sanstha denies SIT's allegations
The direction was given on a petition filed by Maharashtra government’s CID, which is probing the Pansare murder case, challenging a May 20 order passed by the Kolhapur sessions court rejecting the prosecution’s application seeking to defer framing of charges against Gaikwad, pending the forensic report. “At the stage of framing of charge, it is necessary to apprise the accused of all the allegations levelled against him and the charges faced by him. That it is incumbent upon the prosecution to establish the nexus and apprise the accused of the fact as to whether there is any nexus between the homicidal death of all the three luminaries and the specific role attributed to the accused,” Justice Jadhav said. Also Read - Proposal to ban Sanatan Sanstha pending before Centre: Fadnavis
Justice Jadhav, while staying the order of the sessions court rejecting the prosecution’s application, directed it to defer framing of charges in the case until further orders from the high court. Government pleader Sandeep Shinde informed the high court that the state CID had filed an application before the lower court seeking to defer framing of charges against Gaikwad, as they were still waiting for a report from the Scotland Yard Police forensic laboratory to establish nexus between the murders of Pansare, Dabholkar and Kalburgi. Also Read - Gauri Lankesh Murder Was a 5-year Plot, Claims SIT in Chargesheet; Hindu Outfit Sanatan Sanstha Named in Killing
Shinde told HC that earlier the Karnataka police, which is probing the death of Kalburgi, had taken from the state CID five empty cartridges and one bullet recovered from Pansare’s body to see if the murders were connected. Later CBI, which is probing Dabholkar’s death, took over the cartridges and bullet from Karnataka police and sent the same to the forensic laboratory of Scotland Yard Police in the UK for testing, and the report is awaited. CBI had on Friday night arrested a member of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti Virendrasing Tawde in connection with the murder Dabholkar in Pune in 2013, the first in the case by the agency. The Samiti is linked to Goa-based radical Hindu group Sanatan Sanstha, which had come under the scanner for the murder of Pansare in February 2015.