Satish Shetty murder: CBI files closure report after 7 years

Brother of slain RTI activist vows to appeal against the report in the High Court

Published - April 18, 2018 11:30 pm IST - Pune

 Satish Shetty was hacked  to death in 2010

Satish Shetty was hacked to death in 2010

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a closure report in the Satish Shetty murder case in a special court here on Wednesday. The report has brought an end to a case that has been dragging for more than seven years.

Shetty, a Right to Information activist and whistleblower, was hacked to death outside his home in Talegaon in January 2010. On October 15, 2009, Shetty had lodged a complaint of massive land grab against 14 people, including Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of Mumbai-based Ideal Road Builders (IRB) Infrastructure Developers Limited.

Shetty accused the company and its subsidiary, Aryan Infrastructure Investment Pvt. Ltd., of snatching government and private land totalling 73.88 hectares in Maval Taluk by forging documents and manipulating land records.

However, the CBI filed the closure as it apparently did not find anything against Mr. Mhaiskar in both the murder as well as land scam cases. Sandeep Shetty, the brother of the slain RTI activist, alleged that the closure report was filed in a “covert manner” without the CBI intimating him of it.

‘Probe is a charade’

Sandeep Shetty said, “By now, it is painfully obvious that this whole charade [investigation into the murder] is completely political in nature… It has nothing to do with the investigators, who are under political pressure. A closure report is filed without any knowledge of the aggrieved party.” He alleged that the IRB had received a copy of the closure report before it was filed.

“I came to know [of the filing of the closure report] through the media. I have been calling the investigating officer Vijay Shukla and CBI officials, but to no avail. My calls are getting unanswered,” said Sandeep Shetty. On December 6 last year, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against 18 persons including Mr. Mhaiskar based on the complaint of land grab lodged by the slain whistleblower in 2009. However, last month, a special court had discharged Mr. Mhaiskar and three others in connection with the land-grab case.

In August 2014, the CBI submitted a closure report in the case at the Wadgaon Maval court in Pune district following a drawn-out investigation and a chargesheet running into more than 10,000 pages and after failing to name the killer.

In 2016, the agency filed a supplementary chargesheet against the two former police officers former police inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar and retired sub-inspector Namdev Kauthale, both previously attached to the Pune Rural police, for allegedly conspiring to fabricate and manipulate evidence and shield the real conspirators in Shetty’s murder

However, that very month, both Andhalkar and Kauthale were granted bail by a local court.

“I had met the CBI Director Alok Verma on February 22 in New Delhi. At the time, the Director has chastised investigating officials of filing a closure without arresting those named in the charge sheet. Yet, a year later, what I dreaded has happened,” said Sandeep Shetty. He has said that he would appeal against the CBI’s closure report in the Bombay High Court.

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