The Supreme Court has told the Maharashtra government why it should order for a CBI probe into the alleged lynching of three persons in Palghar in 2020 when the state has no objection to such an investigation.
The court asked the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit to this effect.
“Why should we pass the order that you (Maharashtra) give it to CBI,” a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala told the counsel for the Maharashtra government on Wednesday when he said the state has no objection to the submissions of the petitioners that the case be probed by the central probe agency.
Earlier, the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had opposed the plea for CBI probe into the case.
However, with the change in government, the stand has changed as well and the counsel for the state told the bench that it was agreeable to the CBI probe.
The bench then asked the state government to file an affidavit to this effect and posted the pleas for further hearing on April 10.
The state government also apprised the bench that so far two charge sheets have been filed and the trial has not gathered pace.
On March 20, the top court had agreed to list for hearing the pleas seeking CBI probe into the alleged lynching of three people in Palghar district in 2020 after it was apprised that the Maharashtra government has consented to the investigation by the agency.
The state government had earlier told the top court that the Maharashtra Police has punished “delinquent” policemen for dereliction of duties in the alleged lynching incident and sought dismissal of pleas seeking a CBI probe.
The affidavit was filed in response to a batch of petitions, including one by seers of Shri Panch Dashban Juna Akhara and relatives of those killed.
Their plea alleged the investigation by the state police was being conducted in a biased manner.
The other pleas have been filed by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Ghanshyam Upadhyay.
The three people from Kandivali in Mumbai were travelling in a car to attend a funeral in Surat in Gujarat amid the COVID-19-induced nationwide lockdown when their vehicle was stopped and they were attacked and allegedly killed by a mob in Gadchinchile village on the night of April 16, 2020 in the presence of police.
The victims were identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri, 70, Sushil Giri Maharaj, 35, and Nilesh Telgade, 30, who was driving the vehicle.