No need to reopen Gandhi assassination case says court

Mahatma Gandhi in Madras in 1933 during his nationwide tour to campaign against untouchability. (Archives)

The amicus curiae (friend of the Court) in the matter of a PIL demanding re-investigation in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi has submitted his report to 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) suggests another conspiracy and the presence of a second assassin and rests on the assumption of a “fourth bullet”.

The amicus, senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, appointed in October by the two-Judge bench of the Supreme Court, has 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.” He stated 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 re-investigation or a fact-finding commission.

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 two persons (including Godse) were 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 in June 2016.

The matter is said to come up before the Supreme Court Bench on Friday, January 12.

ALSO READ: Why I killed Gandhi by Nathuram Godse

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