The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking re-investigation in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, which took place on January 31, 1948. The petition was filed by Mumbai-based Pankaj Phadnis, co-founder of Abhinav Bharat and was heard by a bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, who dismissed the petition.
On March 6, the SC had reserved its verdict saying that it would not go by ‘sentiments’ but will rely upon legal submissions to decide on the petition. It further said that the petition was based on academic research and cannot form basis to reopen a matter, which took place years ago.
In his petition, Phadnis questioned the ‘three bullet theory’ which was usd by different courts to convict Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, who were hanged on November 15, 1949. The petition questioned if there was a need to examine if there was a fourth bullet, which was fired by someone other than Godse.
Apart from the seeking re-investigation of Gandhi’s assassination, Phadnis cancellation of adverse remarks made against Vinayak Damodar Savarkar by Kapur commission in its 1969 report. He also sought to setting up a commission to investigate the conspiracy behind the incident. Phadnis alleged that Kapur Commission’s adverse remarks had maligned the entire Maratha community.
SC in its reply exclaimed that the sentiments of Marathas have not been maligned saying that Maratha people have survived in spite of all of this. The SC added, “You are talking about two persons who happened to be from Maharashtra and they do not represent the State. Observation about two persons does not malign whole Marathis.”
Phadnis in his affidavit also claimed that the alleged murderers were punished and hanged even before the murder trial had attained legality from the apex court.