The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition for a probe into the killing of Hemant Karkare, head of Maharashtra Police's anti-terrorist squad (ATS), during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
The petition wanted an independent fact-finding committee, headed by a sitting or a retired judge of the apex court, to look into the events before Karkare's killing.
A bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar rejected Radhakant Yadav's public interest litigation (PIL) but gave him the liberty to move the high court.
Since Yadav, a three-time Bihar legislator, had moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the constitution that deals with citizens' rights, the apex court questioned him on how his fundamental rights had been encroached upon.
Under Article 32 a citizen of India can knock the doors of the apex court for protection of his rights, including the fundamental rights.
The petition "submitted that there was an abject failure of the state of unparalleled magnitude in protecting the citizens of the country from terrorists, including the death of officers like ATS chief Karkare".
The petitioner contended that the entire Mumbai terror attack should not be seen as single episode but two different attacks.
The petitioner pointed to the book "Who Killed Hemant Karkare", authored by former Maharashtra Police chief S.M. Mushrif, which said the government explanation given for the ATS chief's death was not logical and not believable.
He said the R.D. Pradhan Committee, headed by a former senior bureaucrat, was set up by the state government to give a report on various aspects of the Mumbai attack but it did not receive cooperation from various authorities.
Yadav said that Karkare investigated and exposed the plot of “right wing terror groups” who were responsible for several blasts between 2003 and 2008.
Karkare came to know about the involvement of political and religious leaders and was "only inches away from arresting some of them" before his killing, the petitioner claimed.
The petitioner also claimed that the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, had sent the Intelligence Bureau precise and actionable information about the Mumbai attack but it was not passed on to Maharashtra police.