The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday continued the stay on the trial in the murder of communist leader Govind Pansare, on grounds that the police would be in a better position to explain the charges levelled against the accused, Sameer Gaikwad, if they are allowed to obtain a forensic report.
Pansare was shot dead on February 16, 2015, near his residence in Kolhapur, when he was out on a morning walk. The police recovered five empty cartidges from the spot and a bullet from Pansare’s body. Similar material found from the spot where other rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar was murdered was handed over to the Karnataka police, investigating the murder of Kannada author MM Kalburgi.
Acting on a petition filed by the state, Justice Sadhana Jadhav had on June 9 stayed the trial. The government had approached the high court, after a trial court in Kolhapur rejected their plea to defer framing of charges against Gaikwad to give the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) time to send the cartridges and bullet to the forensic laboratory of New Scotland Yard for analysis.
The trial court had held that it was not necessary to defer the framing of charges for want of forensic report.
In its petition, the state said the confusing reports necessitated sending the items to England for forensic examination.
The Bangalore forensic science laboratory said similar country-made pistols of 7.65-mm caliber were used to fire bullets at Dabholkar and Pansare, contradicting the reports of the forensic laboratory in Mumbai.
The CBI team, investigating the Dabholkar case, has sent the items to the laboratory, the petition said.