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SC Dismisses Plea Seeking Re-Investigation Into Mahatma Gandhi’s Assassination

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated 70 years ago on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse and three persons (including him) hanged for their role in the murder.

The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a re-investigation into the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

A bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, which heard the matter, dismissed the petition filed by Mumbai-based Pankaj Phadnis from Abhinav Bharat.

The apex court, which reserved its verdict on March 6, had made it clear that it would not go by “sentiments” but rely on legal submissions to decide on the petition.

The amicus curae, literally “friend of the Court”, in the matter of a PIL demanding re-investigation in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was appointed in October last year by the Supreme Court. He concluded that the “bullets which pierced Mahatma Gandhi’s body, the pistol from which it was fired, the assailant who fired the said bullets the conspiracy which led to the assassination and the ideology which led to the said assassination have all been duly identified.”

Stating that no substantive material has come to light to throw any doubt on the investigation of the Mahatma’s murder. The amicus’ report rejected the need for a reinvestigation or a fact-finding commission, which was now upheld by the two judge bench of the Supreme Court. The petition filed before a two-Judge bench, by Pankaj Phadnis, co-founder of Abhinav Bharat (an organisation said to have been inspired by the ideology of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar) suggested another conspiracy and the presence of a second assassin. The whole theory rested on the assumption of a “fourth bullet” which killed Gandhi.

The amicus had received a letter and an affidavit on December 2, 2017, of one Dr Nene who claimed to have treated the so-called second assassin of the Mahatma in the late 50s. That material, asserts the amicus, has no evidentiary value in the court of law after sixty years, especially as Dr Nene had the opportunity to appear before the Kapur Commission (made to investigate the assassination) in 1965 and then when a similar petition came up before the Bombay High Court in 2016.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated 70 years ago on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse and three persons (including him) hanged for their role in the murder. The RSS was also subsequently banned by the Deputy PM and Home Minister in February 1948 for its role in fomenting an atmosphere of hate which played its role in precipitating events.

A similar petition by Phadnis, demanding a fresh Commission of Inquiry before the Bombay High Court was rejected by it in June 2016.

 

Here is a copy of the case report.

Gandhi Murder case report
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