A public interest litigation in the Bombay high court has sought appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to probe afresh the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in January, 1948 and the conspiracy behind it.
The PIL, filed by Dr Pankaj Phadnis, author, researcher and trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, has claimed that the then JL Kapur Commission of Inquiry had not been able to unearth the entire conspiracy that culminated in the killing of Gandhi.
According to the prosecution’s story, the ‘Father of the nation’ was shot at by the assassin with a revolver which had seven compartments of bullets. Gandhi received three bullet injuries while the remaining four bullets were recovered by police from the weapon, says the petition.
However, the PIL alleged that Gandhi had been hit by four bullet wounds on January 30, 1948, when he was shot dead. In this regard, the petitioner has produced several media clippings to show that Gandhi had sustained four bullet injuries.
The PIL, slated to come up for hearing on June 6 before a bench headed by chief Justice DH Waghela, said that the new Commission of Inquiry should conduct a probe to find out who had fired the fourth shot and to establish whether there was any other assassin besides Nathuram Godse.
The commission should also find out if the motive of the murder was to cause enmity between the people of India and Pakistan by sabotaging the Gandhi-Jinnah reconciliation project of ‘reviving people-to-people contact’.
The PIL claimed that Gandhi was slated to visit Pakistan to revive relations. However, he was shot dead prior to his departure for the neighbouring country.
The PIL said the commission investigate to find out if any person -- other than those accused in the Gandhi murder trial-- had prior information of the conspiracy or had participated in such a conspiracy.
The petition alleged that the Kapur Commission had made observations or findings against Veer Savarkar, implying or imputing that he was involved in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.
Savarkar was acquitted as an accused during the murder trial and these adverse findings should be expunged or removed, the PIL demanded.
Inspired by Veer Savarkar, Abinav Bharat, Mumbai, was set up in 2001 to work for socially and economically weaker with a focus on bridging digital divide.
The PIL has filed a petition in the Bombay high court, seeking deregistration of Abhinav Bharat, Pune, with which the Mumbai Trust has no connection. This petition has been admitted by the high court, according to the petitioner.