NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked searching questions over a plea seeking reopening of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s assassination probe, before appointing senior advocate and former additional solicitor general Amrender Sharan as amicus curiae to assist in the matter.
In the hearing, which lasted about 15 minutes, the court told Sharan that its observation was not binding on him to make an assessment of the matter and posted it for further hearing on October 30.
A petition filed by Mumbai-based Dr Pankaj Phadni, a researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat, sought the reopening of the probe on several grounds.
The bench, comprising of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, felt that “nothing can be done in law” in the case which has been decided long ago.
On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was shot dead at point blank range in New Delhi by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.
Phadni claims Gandhi’s assassination is one of the biggest cover-ups in history and could involve a “foreign hand”. He also sought a probe to ascertain if there was a second assassin besides Godse.
In his written submission, Phadni adds of all telegrams sent from the US Embassy, one still remains classified.
As per a “restricted” telegram of January 30, 1948 sent from the US Embassy at 8 pm, Herbert Tom Reiner, Disburing Officer, was within five feet of Gandhi when he was shot, and with the aid of Indian guards, he had apprehended the assassin, says Phadni.
“The said Reiner filed a report on reaching the Embassy later in the evening. However, after 70 years, the said report remains classified. The petitioner (Phadnis himself) has filed an application under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA of USA) for declassification of the said report,” he said in his written submission.