Exasperated by its delaying tactics, the Bombay High Court has given the state an ultimatum to transfer the Hari Masjid firing case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by Friday. The court said if need be, the state prepare the necessary documents “overnight”.
A division bench of Justices SB Mhase and VK Tahilramani had on Monday and Tuesday asked the state to reply in a petition by victim Farooq Mapkar. He sought that the CBI probe the then RAK Marg police station sub-inspector Nikhil Kapse’s role in the firing. Seven people died when Kapse led a team that opened fire on namazis sheltering at Wadala’s Hari Masjid on January 10, 1993.
The state wrote to the Centre twice, expressing desire to transfer the case to the CBI. But these were not in accordance with specified procedures.
“You (state) should have followed the system like in other cases,” said Justice Mhase. “It appears, as if you were waiting for them (CBI) to say no.”
The bench directed the state to issue the necessary notification for the transfer and kept the matter for February 11. “It appears that the government is aware of the importance of the case… the government should hand over the investigation to the CBI.”
When the public prosecutor sought time for issuance of the notification, the bench refused, saying: “It (the documents) can be prepared in half an hour. If desired it can be done overnight.”