Mumbai: With senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam withdrawing as the special public prosecutor in the Beed female foeticide case, Maharashtra Government`s Health and Home departments cannot decide who would appoint the new prosecutor.
"The matter of appointing new lawyer will be decided by Home Minister R R Patil," sources in the health department said last week. However, the home department, on the other hand, is awaiting `proposal` from the health department.
Nikam, who has handled high-profile cases such as 1993 Mumbai blasts and 26/11 terror attack, was appointed as special public prosecutor in cases related to illegal abortion and female foeticide carried out by Beed-based doctor couple Sudam and Saraswati Munde.
However, he later quit the case.
Home department is now awaiting the proposal to appoint new lawyer from the Health department. However, an official in the Health Department said, "If we get a proposal from the Health Ministry, we will think about it. We will also speak to the concerned Superintendent of Police regarding the appointment of lawyer."
Meanwhile, government sources also indicated that the trial might be shifted outside Beed district.
The doctor couple were arrested after they carried out illegal abortion procedure on a sugarcane worker Vijaymala Patekar on May 18. She died as a result.
Beed police, sources said, had sent a report that the accused might influence the witnesses if the trial was held in the district.
Beed district has seen an alarming increase in female foeticide of late, and has the worst child sex ratio in Maharashtra.