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Another minister gets SC relief

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2009 01:29 IST
Urvi Mahajani
Urvi Mahajani
Hindustan Times
SC relief

Maharashtra’s murder accused ministers are making a beeline for the Supreme Court.

State Minister for Agriculture Balasaheb Thorat earned a reprieve from the SC, which stayed an investigation into the death of professor Vijaya Deshmukh of Sangamner. She died of burn injuries in 1991.

On Friday, the SC had granted anticipatory bail to State Minister of Rural Development Siddhram Mhetre in the probe into the death of BJP worker Bhimanna Kore, who was killed at Shevegaon village in Akkalkot on September 26 during a rally.

Mhetre’s brother Shankar and another man were arrested and a hunt is on for the other accused.

In the latest case, Thorat approached the SC after the Bombay High Court directed a probe into Deshmukh’s death.

The HC order followed a petition by Hemant Dhage, a Pune-based social activist.

The SC stayed the HC order.

On September 8, the HC had formed a Special Investigation Team headed by S.S. Kalpande, deputy superintendent of police, Pune, to lodge an FIR to

determine the cause of Deshmukh’s death.

Kalpande was asked to complete the investigation in 12 weeks and submit a report.

Thorat’s counsel Manoj Mohite had argued the petition was filed to tarnish his image before the elections.

Dhage had said in his petition Deshmukh worked at the Amrut Vahini Engineering College in Sangamner, which was managed by Dr Sudhir Tambe and Thorat, his brother-in-law.

On February 1, 1991, Deshmukh was found with 85 per cent burn injuries. The petition said she was set on fire and died in hospital. Despite the nature of her death, it was never investigated.