The Bombay High Court on Tuesday appointed Deputy Superintendent of Police, Pune, SS Kalpande to investigate the death of a professor in Sangamner, near Shirdi.
The division bench of Justice BH Marlapalle and Justice Roshan Dalvi directed Kalpande to lodge a first information report to determine the cause of Vijaya Deshmukh’s death.
Deshmukh, a professor with the Amrut Vahini Engineering College in Sangamner, was found with 85 per cent burns on February 1, 1991. She later later succumbed to her injuries in hospital. In spite of the nature of the death, no investigation was conducted.
The college is looked after by Dr Sudhir Tambe and his brother-in-law Balasaheb Thorat, the state agriculture minister.
Pune-based social activist Hemant Dhage, in his petition which sought a probe in her death, alleged the role of Thorat in the case.
Thorat has rubbished the allegations terming them as being “politically motivated”.
His counsels Amit Desai and Manoj Mohite argued that the petition was filed to tarnish his image before the elections.
Looking at the peculiar facts of the case, the HC expressed that it was convinced that an investigation was required.
“There is nothing to indicate whether Deshmukh’s death was accident, suicide or homicide,” the bench said, while directing Kalpande to first probe the cause of death.
The HC has asked Kalpande, who is to head the Special Investigation Team, to complete the probe in 12 weeks and submit a status report within four weeks after she takes charge.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing on October 16.