The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the CBI and Rajasthan government on a plea for transferring the trial of Bhanwari Devi murder case out of the state and to New Delhi.
A bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla sought the response of all the 17 accused, including sacked state minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, in the case on the plea filed by victim’s sister for transfer of the trial out of Rajasthan.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves and advocate Shreeji Bhavsar, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the accused are powerful and influential politicians, who would not allow free and fair trial in the state. “The political patronage is so obvious that when the accused persons tried to avoid arrest by having himself admitted to a hospital it was the state chief minister himself who visited the hospital to meet the accused. Thus it is clear that no free and fair trial can proceed in the state of Rajasthan and therefore the request is being made for transfer of the case to Delhi or any other state,” petitioner Indira Solanki said in her plea.
Bhanwari Devi, a 36-year-old nurse who lived near Jodhpur, disappeared from near her home in September 2011.
Four months after she went missing, her remains were found by police divers in a canal around 100 km from Jodhpur.
The case has seen some high-profile arrests. Former state minister Mahipal Maderna, whom Bhanwari was reportedly blackmailing him with a sex CD, had to resign and was arrested along with Luni MLA Malkhan Singh.