The Maharashtra police on Friday filed two reports in a sealed cover before the Bombay High Court with regard to the investigation in the Palghar mob lynching incident which led to the death of two sadhus and their driver.
A Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde was hearing a batch of three separate PILs clubbed together seeking transfer of probe into the palghar mob lynching incident. Court noted that a similar plea seeking transfer of investigation has already been heard by the Supreme Court and order is reserved.
Petitioners Dr.Vinod Kothari, Dev Ashish Dubey and Advocate Alakh Alok Shrivastava had sought transfer of probe to agencies like CBI or NIA citing failure of the state police including officials present on the spot of the incident.
On April 30, 2020 High Court had sought a report on the progress in investigation into the death of the two sadhus and their driver and also the enquiries against police officials present on the spot.
Therefore, in compliance of the Court's order, on Friday the Special Inspector General of Police, Konkan Range, Navi Mumbai, and the Special Inspector General of Police (Crime), CID, Pune placed two separate reports before the bench.
After perusing through the said reports, the bench noted-
"It appears that after registration of several FIRs regarding the alleged incident of lynching of three individuals, the local police having jurisdiction embarked on an investigation. The steps taken by the investigating officer are delineated in the report of the Special IGP. However, considering the gravity of the matter, the investigation was transferred and taken up by the Criminal Investigation Department. The steps taken during investigation so far, after transfer, find place in the subsequent report. We have perused the reports. Inter alia, it appears that departmental action has been taken by the State against some of the officers who, prima facie, might have erred.
At this stage, neither do we consider it necessary to record the developments in regard to the investigation nor to furnish copies of the reports to the learned Advocates for the Petitioners. Also, keeping in mind the fact that the Hon'ble Supreme Court is seized of a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution wherein a prayer has been made for transferring the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is also the prayer in this clutch of petitions, we consider it prudent to adjourn the hearing for two weeks for the present and to await the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court on the pending petition."
Thus, the Court directed the registry to re-seal the said reports and kept them in the safe custody of the Registrar General. 5. The matter was adjourned for two weeks and the next date of hearing is now June 5, 2020.
The two Sadhus, namely Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri (70) along with their driver Nilesh Telgane (35) were travelling from Kandivali in Mumbai to Surat, Gujarat to attend the funeral rites of one Ramgiri Maharaj, a Hindu spiritual guru who passed away in Surat, Gujarat. on April 16.
They were reportedly stopped from taking the National Highway due to the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown and hence they took a detour. While their vehicle reached near village Gadchinchle in Palghar district of Maharashtra, they were reportedly taken into custody by the Palghar Police and kept in the police van.
However, at that time, a large mob reportedly stopped their vehicle and dragged the sadhus out. Thereafter, the unruly mob, armed with sticks and rods, brutally attacked the two Sadhus and their driver and killed all three of them in an extremely barbaric manner.