On April 28, 2023, the Maharashtra government informed the Supreme Court (SC) that the investigation into the Palghar lynching case, which involved the killing of two sadhus (seers) and their car driver by a mob in April 2020 at Gadchinchale village in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, would be assigned to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to the Maharastra Counsel, the state government decided to hand over the investigation of the case of lynchings that happened on April 16, 2020. The mob lynched Kalpavriksha Giri (72), Sushil Giri (35) and their driver. The victims were crossing the Maharashtra border to attend the funeral of their spiritual guru Ramgiri Maharaj in Surat, Gujarat. The Counsel has informed the Supreme Court’s bench presided by CJI DY Chandrachud to transfer the case to CBI to probe the involvement of the police in these gruesome murders.
Police registered an FIR on April 18, 2020. In June 2020, the SC sought a response from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on a PIL by Juna Akhada priests seeking a CBI probe into the incident.
After the lynchings on April 18, 2020, the police filed an FIR. Then the SC requested a response from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June 2020 to a PIL filed by Juna Akhada priests demanding a CBI investigation into the incident.
The petitioners questioned the fairness of the investigation done by the state police into the killings and criticised the MVA government’s conduct in handling the case.
The petitioners told the court that their fundamental right to a fair and just investigation as the deceased’s kin had been violated and pleaded for the case to be transferred to the CBI.
The petitioners stated, “Several video clips, which have surfaced on social media, and news reports of the incident demonstrate active involvement of the police personnel present at the site of the incident as they can be seen handing over the three people to the unlawful assembly of persons. These video clips further indicate the shocking way three unarmed and defenceless persons were brutally beaten with sticks and weapons by members of the mob”.
Though the MVA government had opposed the CBI investigation, the Eknath Shinde-led government agreed to entrust the investigation to the agency on April 28.