SC Appoints Amicus Curie To Examine If There Is Scope For Reopening Mahatma Gandhi Assassination Case

October 7th, 2017 | by eBangla Bureau
SC Appoints Amicus Curie To Examine If There Is Scope For Reopening Mahatma Gandhi Assassination Case
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THE Supreme Court of India on Friday accepted plea seeking reopening of Mahatma Gandhi assassination case. The father of the nation was assassinated on the evening of January 30, 1948, in the heart of Luyten’s New Delhi.  Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister and Sardar Ballabhhai Patel was Home Minister .Both reportedly had differences of opinion on several national issues and Gandhiji would mediate between the two stalwarts. Most of the post Independent historians and chroniclers had accepted that Nathuram Vinayak Godse from Pune,a high caste Brahmin, had come all the way to assassinate him protesting  Mahatma Gandhiji’s appeasement policy. Petitioner Dr Pankaj Padhnis from Mumbai has also questioned the ‘three bullet theory’ relied upon by various courts of law to hold the conviction of accused — Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, who were hanged to death on November 15, 1949, and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who was given the benefit of doubt due to lack of evidence Despite sending Godse to gallows, why Godse is still hero-worshipped by many people and his family was not excommunicated?  The question remains was it a solo heinous crime or who were with him and who actually fired at the Mahatma. The Financial Express writes for decades a conspiracy theory that Godse alone didn’t shot at the Mahatma has been doing the rounds. But without the stamp of the court, such theory could never become truth. A new twist to the story may come now, almost 70 years after the Mahatma was killed.PTI reported that the apex court asked some searching questions on the plea seeking reopening of the case seven decades after his demise. A Bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao has appointed Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Amarendra  Sharan amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter. The matter will come up for hearing on October 30.During  initial hearing of the case, there was a view in the apex court that “nothing can be done in law” in the case that was decided long ago . However, the bench has not disappointed the petitioner possible reopening of the case by assuring Sharan that its observation was not binding on him to make an assessment of the matter.

According to TV channels, Dr Pankaj Phadnis claims to be  a researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat. He has sought the reopening of the case on several grounds. He also claimed that this case was one of the biggest cover-ups in history. Dr Padhnis told the apex court he has received some crucial documents relating to the case after filing the plea. He also sought additional time to file those documents. The Bench asked the petitioner Why should we reopen this now? We will give you as much time you want but you tell us why we should reopen a finding that has been affirmed. Padhnis told the apex court that appeals filed by the convicts in the assassination case were dismissed in 1949 by the then East Punjab High Court following which the Privy Council had sent the matter back on the ground that the Supreme Court of India will come into existence in January 1950.Dr Phadnis said The Supreme Court had never adjudicated this matter. He also claimed that that another person might be involved in firing shots at Mahatma Gandhi. The Bench reminded him saying “we want to go by the law and not by political passion”. Bench said “You say that there was someone else, a third person who killed him (Gandhi). Is that person alive today to face the trial”. Padhnis retorted that Mahatma may have been killed by an organised body. However, the bench said, “We cannot convict an organisation. Do you know whether that person is alive?”

On June 6, 2016, the Bombay High Court had dismissed Padhnis’ PIL on two grounds. First, the findings of fact was recorded by the competent court and confirmed right up to the apex court. Second, the Kapur Commission has submitted its report and made the observations in 1969. Padhnis has challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. Dr Padhnis has further claimed that The Justice J L Kapur Commission of Inquiry set up in 1966 was not able to unearth the entire conspiracy that had led to the killing of Gandhi.

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