The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to go ahead with its investigation into the Hari Masjid firing incident in which six persons were killed during the 1992-93 riots.
A police team has been accused of allegedly entering the mosque in south Mumbai on January 10, 1993 and firing indiscriminately at a group of persons.
A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam upheld the December 2008 Bombay High Court order asking the CBI to probe the matter and dismissed the Maharashtra government’s appeal against the HC order. The court asked the CBI to complete the probe in 6 months.
The verdict came after additional solicitor general Mohan Jain requested the court to grant the CBI time to complete the probe. Jain had assured the court that the agency would conclude the investigation within six months. He had said that after the HC order, the CBI had already initiated the probe against the police officials allegedly involved in the incident. It had examined 63 witnesses.
The HC had given the CBI six months to complete the probe. Since it could not do so, the agency had moved an application before the HC seeking extension. But no order could be passed as the Maharashtra government moved the SC against the HC judgment.
Initially, the agency had in 2008 opposed the transfer of the case to it, saying it faced an acute shortage of manpower. The CBI had also claimed that the petitioner seeking transfer of the probe was an accused in another riot-related case.
The HC dismissed the CBI’s objections and directed it to take over the investigation, though various state agencies such as the task force, CID and crime branch had registered cases and started prosecution against the accused police officials.