The Bombay high court on Tuesday sought to know from the Maharashtra government if there was any mechanism to deal with old, unsolved criminal cases.
The division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Revati Mohite-Dere was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pune resident Ashwini Rane posing a question mark over investigation skills of the local police.
Ashwini’s husband, Nikhil, was murdered by unidentified assailants on November 23, 2009 outside his office in Pune, but none of the agencies investigating the case so far — the local police, Pune crime branch, state CID and even the CBI — could get any lead as to who the culprits were.
She approached the high court in June 2010, after local police and the crime branch failed to locate any witnesses or secure any leads in the case. Acting on her petition, the high court initially transferred the matter to the state CID and later to the CBI, but neither of the agencies had any success.
In this backdrop, the judges sought to know how the police machinery deals with old, unsolved cases. The bench also asked about the status of Maharashtra’s coastal security. The issue of coastal security was taken up by the judges, who appeared to be impressed with the coastal security arrangements in Uttan area of Thane district, where the judicial training academy was located. Noting that they found the coastal security arrangements at Uttan satisfactory, the judges sought to know if the security arrangements were at par in other coastal areas of the state.
During the course of the hearing, public prosecutor Sandip Shinde informed the court that the state government reviewed its weapons policy for police personnel three months ago. The court had earlier expressed anguish over the fact that the Maharashtra government had not reviewed the weapons policy for the police force despite the 26/11 terrorist attacks.
The bench has now posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.