`CBI can summon anyone in Bhanwari case`

Last Updated: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 21:32

Jodhpur: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday
ruled that the CBI can summon all those required for
questioning through a written notice in Bhanwari Devi case,
and dismissed the petition filed by 85-year-old Amri Devi,
regarding her summoning by the agency for interrogation.

The court over ruled objection of the petitioner that
"innocent persons" in the case should not be summoned and
gave green signal to the CBI.

However, it cautioned the investigating agency to adhere
strictly to the law while calling them.

Devi`s counsel Sunil Joshi had said that the CBI summoned
her twice for interrogation, which is violation of Section 160
of the CrPC.

"This section prohibits summoning of any children up to
the age of 15 years and women in the name of interrogation by
any investigative agency," Joshi had said.

Despite old age and ill-health, Devi was interrogated and
was treated inappropriately, Joshi alleged.

In reply to the objection of the petitioner, the counsel
of CBI Panne Singh argued that innocent persons needed to be
summoned for interrogation and termed the process as an
integral part of the investigation.

"It must be followed by a written notice," the court
said.

While Joshi said that, "The court also allowed us to go to
any relevant court or commission as far as the summoning of
children and women are concerned, so we are now planning to
give a representation to the Central Vigilance Commission."

On the other hand, in a different petition filed by the
counsel of Shahabuddin and Balia, currently under judicial
custody, the court issued notice to the CBI Director seeking
reply on March 16.

Petitioner`s counsel Pradeep Choudhary had challenged the
order of the CBI court, in which it had prohibited the
availability of the statements of various accused, suspects
and witnesses under section 164 of the CrPC to anyone related
to the case.

The CBI had moved an application in the CBI court seeking
this prohibition until the final charge-sheet is filed in the
court considering its negative impact on the investigation.

Meanwhile, the judicial custody of Sohan Lal Bishnoi,
Shahabuddin and Kumbharam alias Balia was further extended
till March 5 by the SC/ST court.

All the three were produced today after the court was
apprised of the addition of the section 302 against them in
the final charge-sheet, which is due shortly.

Yesterday, scores of people from the Bishnoi community
took out a massive rally here in protest against the alleged
harassment of Amri Devi.

Devi is the mother of Rajasthan Congress legislator
Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, who has been arrested by the CBI in the
case.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 21:32

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