The Supreme Court has rejected a plea that sought a further probe into the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. A Bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao observed that the petitioners attempt to re-open the controversy was an exercise in futility.
After a petition was filed by Dr. Pankaj K Phadnis, the court had appointed a senior advocate, Amarendra Saran to assist in the case. In his report, he had categorically stated that there was no need for such a probe.
The petitioner argued that the pistol used by Nathuram Godse had a seven-bullet chamber. Three shots were fired and the police recovered the four unspent bullets. There was no way that the fourth shot could have come from this pistol, the petitioner also argued.
The petitioner also contended that the fourth shot had to be from a gun of a second assassin and there is no trace of this in any record. The petitioner cited a research conducted by him and said that he was convinced about a second assassin.
We are, however, not satisfied that new research into a long concluded matter justifies a re-initiation of a criminal investigation or that anything that might be stated should be allowed to reopen a case such as this. Criminal cases which result in the conviction and even execution of death sentences and the demise of those who have served life sentences ought not to be reviewed, neither is there a provision in law for review, the Bench said while rejecting the petition.
"While undoubtedly the nation has right to know the truth, such a right cannot be invoked where the truth is already well known merely because some academic research raises a different perspective in law. This would amount to reopening issues based on hearsay."
"We are, therefore, not prepared to accept the fourth bullet theory propounded by the petitioner. We consider the petitioner's attempt to reopen this controversy as an exercise in futility" the Bench added.