Supreme Court dismisses PIL to reopen Mahatma Gandhi assassination case, says there's 'no merit' in petition

The Supreme Court has rejected a petition to reopen a criminal case into the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi, saying there was "no merit" in the plea.

The court said the plea would be dismissed on grounds of maintainability since a verdict was already returned 70 years ago, and resulted in the conviction of Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte, both of whom were sentenced to death.

File image of Mohandas Gandhi. Getty Images

File image of Mohandas Gandhi. Getty Images

The petition, filed by Mumbai-based income tax professional Pankaj Phadnis, had said there wasn't enough clarity about the identity of the person who fired the fourth bullet, saying it was this that finally killed Gandhi. He had called for a thorough probe into the incident to "unearth a deeper conspiracy", and calling it "one of the biggest cover-ups" in history.

But on Tuesday, at the end of 12 hearings, Live Law reported that a bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said, "The petition is dismissed."

Even during the hearing, Live Law added, the bench was categorical that it was not going to reopen investigations, saying it "would not go by sentiments", but rely on legal submissions. The apex court said the plea seeking retrial of the case was based on academic research, but that cannot be basis to reopen the matter which happened 70 years ago.

The verdict came two months after senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, who was appointed amicus curiae in the case, had said there was "no need" for a fresh probe.

As reported by The Indian Express, Sharan told the court that "bullets which pierced 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".

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2018 11:19:13 IST

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