Jodhpur: The CBI court on Monday declared Indra Bishnoi, conspirator and one of the main accused in the abduction and murder of nurse Bhanwari Devi, a proclaimed offender.
She had been absconding for the past five months and is untraceable despite furious efforts by the CBI.
The CBI, after announcing a cash reward of Rs five lakh for any credible information leading to her whereabouts, had moved an application in the CBI court to declare her a proclaimed offender on the grounds that Indra has been constantly evading investigation and arrest despite being declared an absconder followed by attachment.
"She is aware of all this development and despite that her not turning up amounts to her non-cooperation in the investigation", Special Public Prosecutor (CBI) S S Yadav said.
He said that under section 82 (4) of Cr PC and section 174 A of IPC, she could be sentenced to seven years imprisonment at the maximum.
It may be recalled that the CBI has also registered an FIR with the police against Indra Bishnoi on similar grounds and has also filed a contempt petition against her in the high court, which is due for hearing.
On the other hand, defected BJP leader and a fresh suspect in the Bhanwari Devi case, Shambhu Singh Khetasar filed a writ petition in the high court objecting to the CBI`s summoning him meaninglessly everyday and that too without giving any notice.
His counsel P S Bhati said that despite filing the charge-sheets and identifying accused in the case, Khetasar is being subjected to interrogation illegally.
"He is being targeted on the grounds of political rivalry with Mahipal Maderna", Bhati said adding that "we have cooperated with the investigation and have appeared whenever required but CBI is now taking this cooperation for granted and after summoning on 11 April through notice".
The CBI summoned him on April 12 without notice and then reached his residence on 13 April without any information, the day he had left for Ahmedabad for the pending treatment.
"We are ready to cooperate but the CBI will have to go by the rules even when the investigation is almost complete", Bhati added.