Closure report filed in the RTI Activist Satish Shetty case is extremely disappointing
Yesterday the media has reported the filing of a closure report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case of the murder of an RTI activist from Maharashtra- Satish Shetty. Readers may remember that Mr. Shetty was hacked to death four years ago for taking on vested and corrupt interests through his RTI-interventions. I received a scanned copy of the closure report from journalist Parthasarathi Biswas of the popular daily- DNA. In its closure report India's apex crime investigating agency has given the following reasons for not filing a chargesheet against the accused:
1) No prosecutable definite evidence arrived so far. There is no evidence which can prove beyond reasonable doubt that this particular accused killed the deceased.
2) the deceased was having many enemies. None of the enemies could be tangibly correlated and connected. The deceased had applied for police protection for his life but had not mentioned anybody by name.
3) Telephonic conversations are not recorded conversations and it will not be able helpful for the prosecution.
4) Polygraph test is not a confirmatory test and not a substantive piece of evidence hence absolute reliance cannot be placed on it.
5) There is no direct evidence against Sh. Virendra Dattatreya Mhaiskar.
6) There is no cogent evidence to prove the action of abetment and therefore the case is no weak foundations.
7) The available evidence is mostly circumstantial but there are missing links in the chain of evidence.
8) The main eye witness Smt. Vandana Mhure is silent on the most vital issue. This is the biggest hurdle in the case.
9) No direct or circumstantial evidence has come to fore indicating prima facie that the murder of the deceased was the handiwork of any of the suspects. The real assailant had not yet been identified or traced.
10) There is no positive evidence either direct or circumstantial as admissible in law to identify the actual person who murdered the deceased.
11) Motive has also not been established beyond reasonable doubt.
12) Weapon of offence has not been recovered.
Readers may recollect that this matter was handed over to the CBI by the Bombay High Court for reinvestigation to establish the motive for the murder. Trial is going on against 5 other persons accused of murdering the Late Satish Shetty. The closure report filed by the CBI is extremely disappointing because it has not been able to identify the real masterminds behind the murder. I hope the family will file a protest petition before the High Court challenging the CBI's conclusion.