The Bombay High Court has asked the state DGP to select an officer for conducting inquiry into the death of a lady professor at a Sangamner college in western Maharashtra.
A petition filed in the High Court alleges that current state agriculture minister Balasaheb Thorat was involved in the death, which occurred 18 years ago.
Division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and Roshan Dalvi yesterday said that inquiry was needed to find out whether the death -- due to burn injuries -- was "accidental, suicidal, or homicidal".
Judges asked state Director Deneral of Police S S Virk to nominate a lady officer, not below the rank of Deputy Superientendent of Police, for conducting the inquiry.
Vijaya Deshmukh, the deceased woman, was a lecturer at Amrutvahini Engineering College at Sangamner, run by Thorat.
She died on February 1, 1991 due to burn injuries, but no police investigation was carried out as to whether it was a murder or an accident.
Hemant Dhage and Vijaykumar Thakur, hailing from the same district, have filed petitions before High Court, alleging that Thorat had an affair with her, and he had hand in her death.
However, Thorat has not been made a respondent. The case will be heard again on September 9.