Bombay HC grants 4 weeks time to take up investigation

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Mumbai, Feb 14 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today granted four weeks time to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to convey whether it was willing to take up investigations into the Hari Masjid police firing in the city on January 10, 1993, or not.

Additional Solicitor General Rajendra Raghuvanshi, appearing for the CBI, today requested a division bench comprising Justices S B Mhase and V K Tahilramani to grant time to convey decision of the CBI after the state completed formalities of handing over the case to the Central agency.

Accordingly, the court granted four weeks time.

Mr Raghuvanshi had earlier said the CBI would examine state government's proposal to take over investigations on merits and then take a decision.

He said it was state's responsibility to investigate any crime and the Central agency could not just take up every case for investigation.

Farooq Mapkar, a victim of the police firing, had moved High Court seeking CBI probe into the incident, where a police party led by then police Sub-Inspector Nikhil Kapse had allegedly opened fire on 'Namazis' assembled in the Hari Masjid.

Seven people had died and as many others were injured in the police firing. Kapse was indicted by Justice Srikrishna Commission, which enquired into 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai, for ''unprovoked'' police firing in the Hari Masjid.

Justice Srikrishna Commission had observed in its report that, ''the police version of the story was totally unbelievable and fabricated'' and also that, ''PSI Kapse - presently working with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police - not only suppressed facts but also fabricated records''.

Despite clear finding and recomendations of strong action against Kapse, no action was taken against him. But, after Mr Mapkar moved the High Court, the state government decided to handover the case to the CBI for investigations and accordingly all required formalities to issue notifications under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act were now completed.

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