The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government and the State police to respond to a petition filed by the relatives and fellow priests of two Juna Akhara sadhus lynched by a mob at Palghar during the lockdown to transfer the investigation to the CBI.
A Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued a formal notice to Maharashtra, the Centre, the DGP and the CBI on the plea. The court listed the case for further hearing in July second week.
The case would be taken up with a petition filed by an advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha alleging police complicity in the incident. It also sought an investigation by a judicial commission or a central agency like the CBI or the NIA.
Besides transfer of the case to CBI and a time-bound probe, this petition also laid claim to the land on which the incident happened to construct a memorial for the two sadhus.
“The deceased persons were simple and innocent sadhus and one of them was even a revered and respected senior mahant of one of the famous and ancient temples of the holy city of Tryambkeshwar, where one of the  jyotirlingas is situated. Even otherwise, the deceased persons were law-abiding citizens of India who were entitled to the guarantees and rights granted by the Constitution of India to its citizens and had every right to life and personal liberty which has been snatched away in a most deprecable, inhuman, barbaric and concerted [conspiratorial] manner, the real perpetrators whereof deserve to be unmasked and brought to trial," the petition said.