NEW DELHI: Accepting Karnataka government’s plea that there were common links in the two cases of rationalist MM Kalburgi and journalist activist Gauri Lankesh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred the probe into Kalburgi case to the SIT already investigating the other case.
Kalburgi, a former vice-chancellor of Hampi University was shot dead at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015.Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.
The state Crime Investigation Department was probing Kalburgi’s killing and the SIT was investigating the murder of Lankesh in September 2017 in Bengaluru.
During the hearing, the court said the SIT probe into Kalburgi’s killing will be monitored by the Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court.
A bench of justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said if killings of Kalburgi, Lankesh and social activist Govind Pansare and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar are linked, it should be probed by one agency and monitored by one HC.
Advocate Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Karnataka government, said there is already an SIT probing the Lankesh case, while a Maharashtra Special Investigation Team was probing the killing of Pansare in 2015. He said the CBI was probing Dabholkar’s killing on August 20, 2013.
The apex court’s order came on a plea by Kalburgi’s wife, who had alleged that there was a common link between the murder of her husband and that of Dabholkar and Pansare, and hence the probe should be done by CBI.