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Maharashtra objects to plea in SC for transfer of Palghar lynching case to CBI

Legal Correspondent New Delhi 07 August 2020 02:54 IST
Updated: 07 August 2020 02:54 IST

Petition filed by relatives, fellow priests of two Juna Akhara sadhus lynched by a mob during lockdown

The Maharashtra government on Thursday objected to a plea in the Supreme Court for transfer of the Palghar lynching case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The State’s affidavit before a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said a specialised unit of the State CID had been probing the case since April 20 and two chargesheets against 126 accused had already been filed.

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A third one was in the process of being filed against 47 persons.

The State was responding to a petition filed by the relatives and fellow priests of two Juna Akhara sadhus lynched by a mob at Palghar during the national lockdown. The petition said a Central agency such as the CBI should investigate the case.

The court ordered the State to place the chargesheets on record before it.

The State said departmental enquiry had began against six police officers for negligence in connection with the incident.

“Let the State bring the chargesheets on record. It has further been stated that a departmental enquiry against the police personnel was ordered and show-cause notices have been issued. Let details of the enquiry, including the action taken against the police personnel as well as enquiry report, be also brought on the record,” the court ordered.

The Bench ordered Maharashtra to file an affidavit in three weeks. The current affidavit by the State said the case was transferred to the State CID unit considering the need for fairness, transparency in investigation and the large number of accused involved. The two chargesheets have arraigned charges against 126 accused persons each.

Plea seeks stay

Meanwhile, the petitioners filed an application through advocate Balaji Srinivasan for stay of all proceedings in any other court, including the Bombay High Court, with regard to this case.

The petitioners have also sought a time-bound probe and have laid claim to the land on which the incident happened to construct a memorial for the two sadhus.

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