RTI Activist Satish Shetty’s Murder Case Closed?
In a strange and shocking development, the case related to the murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Satish Shetty has been closed. Satish Shetty was brutally killed on 13 February, 2010, while returning home from his morning walk.
 
Sandeep Shetty, brother of the late Satish Shetty, had filed the case. He says, “My petition (639/2019) has been disposed off 10 days ago, but the order has not been uploaded on the High Court’s Case Management Information System (CIS)”. He was told that the order is not yet signed. 
 
It is important to remember the background of this sensational case. The CBI's (Central Bureau of Investigation's) intensive investigation into the murder had led to a 10,000-page report that named 11 persons as accused, including a high-profile name like Virendra Mhaiskar, managing director of Ideal Road Builders (IRB). 
 
On 8 August 2014, the CBI, in an affidavit submitted to the Bombay High Court, had said that prima facie Satish Shetty’s murder appeared to be the result of a first information report (FIR) filed by him against Mr Mhaiskar in a land grab case. However, within three days after the affidavit was filed (on 11 August 2014), the CBI filed a closure report stating it could not find evidence against the 11 accused. 
 
Sandeep then filed a writ petition in the Bombay HC against the closure and the HC ordered the CBI to re-investigate the case. Four years later, in April 2018, the CBI again closed the case due to lack of evidence. A trial court in Pune accepted the closure report on 21 September 2018. 
 
Sandeep Shetty the filed a revision petition on 5 February 2019, against the acceptance of CBI’s closure report by the Pune court, alleging that it was a one-sided decision and he was not given a hearing. 
 
The division bench led by Justice BP Dharmadhikari, directed Mr Shetty to approach a single judge bench as per the procedure. Sandeep then mentioned the matter to the court of Justice Mridula Bhatkar who posted it for hearing at the end of March 2019.
 
However on 11 March 2019, the division bench assignment changed and a new bench took over. On 13th March, lawyers from IRB approached the bench and proposed an intervention. In fact, IRB’s name was not even mentioned in the CBI closure report and, therefore, it did not have local standi. Yet, it approached the bench. 
 
Sandeep says, “It is shocking that the IRB representative intervened without filing any detail on the reasons of intervention and creating no paper trail in the HC registry. Firstly, the IRB is not even a respondent so it has no local standi but the company was allowed to have its say and suddenly the judge ordered disposal of the case and did not allow me to speak.”
 
Sandeep also says that IRB's managing director had not intervened when the CBI named him as an accused in 2013, but chose to do it this time. 
 
As Sandeep Shetty says, many questions remain unanswered
 
* Why did the HC division bench take up a matter not assigned to its court and which is already mentioned before a appropriate Court
* Why would someone who is neither the petitioner nor the respondent in the current litigation be allowed to intervene? 
* Does this mean that nobody killed Satish Shetty? 
 
Sandeep now plans to knock at the doors of the Supreme Court of India, give memorandum to Chief Justice of India and also file a complaint with the newly-appointed Lokpal. 
 
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(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
 
Comments
SatishKumar Janipalli
2 years ago


Every case will go to Supreme Court , if the lower courts are working like this .A de moralising culture.

how will anyone come forward to expose the Truth , after all the fighting and running around - the family would have been drained off energy & finances too .
Veeresh Malik
2 years ago
I quietly left Pune and Maharashtra in 2009 because the fallout of the RTI Decision on the Veeresh Malik vs SAI/Olympics Committee RTI on definition of Public Authority was too risky for me. That's the simple truth.
Vaibhav Dhoka
2 years ago
Looking at long fight for justice Common man will never get justice. In India justice delivery system has become a saleable commodity. This long fight stand true to these allegation of corrupt judiciary. One highcourt justice said yesterday that judiciary has highest corruption and is overlooked by higher-ups. Ultimate loss is for common litigants.
Bhawani entp
2 years ago
In the bombay high court, we have filed a PIL no. 93/2009 and 22/3/2009 against illegal tree cutting issues by pune municipal corporation. In that we gave to high court many RTI information, Bombay high court directed to pune police commissioner to give petitioner. police protection without any recovery from the petitioner and as per RTI activist / social workers / whistle blower should be given direction for police protection as per maharashtra government home ministry, mantralay mumbai 400032. gazeted circular number CRT 2010 / gazeted number 64 / pol- 11 dated 09/02/2010
We have applied for police protection to pune police commissioner dated 30/06/2015, we got police protection with a one gun man but from 30/10/2018 they have discontinued my police protection. As i stated to samarth police station pune , there is a risk to my life from PMC officers, Garden Department officers, Horticulture mistris / supervisors, builders , wood cutters, wood mafias, tree authority members.
I have requested to police commissioner K. Venkatesham to restore our police protection. but till today they did not take those issues seriously. I have mailed to president, prime minister , home minister , environment minister, chief minister of maharashtra, chief secrtary of maharashtra, DGP mumbai. Only DGP and chief secretary forwarded our concerned matter to respective department. till now pune police commissioner have not replied.
we need police protection.

Vinod R Jain
985, sadashiv Peth
12 Bhupati Complex
Pune 411030
9422305735
aniruddh makhecha
Replied to Bhawani entp comment 2 years ago
Sir honestly anybody in the system who just forwards your complaint to a department is frankly either bought or don't have the balls to do what is right...and such people do not deserve where they are. If you truly want to fight...apply for a gun licensed which I'm sure given the corruption is easily gettable with money....spend that money coz it will save your life.And when the time comes and when these spineless cowards try to cause you harm do not hesitate to use this weapon.You will surely lead an example to such beasts for years to come!
GLN Prasad
2 years ago
Ultimately this is the fate of RTI Activist and an eye-opener. Activists, If you are not having men, money, and machinery to fight against a system, what is the use of sacrificing your family's interest, when the Govt is itself failing to protect its own interest with all their mechanism? When nothing is going to make a difference for the Govt., why do you care for such authorities and concerned about larger public interest staking your own life?
B. KRISHNAN
2 years ago
This is atrocious! How can the court allow such chicanery? Where is the so called "long arm of the law"? Is this a banana republic that a builder is allowed to walk away under such mysterious circumstances? How will this affect the morale of the activists community? We the people will be failing in our duty if we are silent now! This is a fit case for intervention from public spirited institutions like ML. Hope you will follow up this article with some more action. Count on me for whatever support.
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