Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has sought to know why the wife of late Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar, who was killed in 2006, has sought examination of social activist Anna Hazare as a witness in the case instead of the prosecuting agency CBI seeking the same. Justice A M Badar was Tuesday hearing a petition filed by Nimbalkar’s wife Anandidevi challenging an order passed by a sessions court on April 12, exempting Hazare from being examined as a prosecution witness in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed an application in the sessions court seeking permission to include Hazare as a prosecution witness and for his evidence to be recorded. Former state minister Padamsinh Patil has been accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill Nimbalkar due to political rivalry. The CBI, which is the prosecuting agency in the case, had claimed earlier Hazare, who was also threatened by Patil, was a prime witness who could prove the motive behind the crime.
Justice Badar, however, sought to know why the CBI had not approached the high court to challenge the order, and why the victim’s wife had filed the petition. The high court directed the CBI to file its affidavit responding to the petition and the court’s query, and posted the petition for hearing on October 10.
The court also continued the interim order by which the trial court was asked to the defer of recording final statements of the accused, including Padamsinh Patil. Patil allegedly hired killers for Rs 30 lakh to eliminate Nimbalkar, who, along with his driver was shot dead on June 3, 2006 at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. He was arrested and later released on bail.
Hazare had lodged the complaint in September 2009 against Patil and four others for allegedly giving ‘supari’ (contract) to one Parasmal Jain to kill the social activist. Besides Padamsinh Patil and Parasmal Jain, the other accused in the case include Latur-based businessman Satish Mandade, corporator Mohan Shukla, former state excise inspector Shashikant Kulkarni, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) worker Kailash Yadav, and alleged shooters Dinesh Tiwari, Pintu Singh and Chote Pandey.